Scores of foreign nationals, recruited by the FBI as witnesses and informants, disappeared between 2015 and 2017 in the United States, according to a new audit.
The Justice Department's inspector general said in an audit released Wednesday that in many cases, the Federal Bureau of Investigation failed to report the missing foreigners to immigration authorities.
The audit looked at the Justice Department's use of immigration programs that allow law enforcement agencies such as the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to sponsor foreign nationals for temporary stay in the United States.
David Gomez, a retired FBI special agent, said foreign individuals sponsored by the FBI are primarily criminal informants or national security assets.
The audit found that the FBI and DEA did not always keep close tabs on their foreign recruits and, in some instances, failed to alert the Department of Homeland Security when they went missing.
A total of 61 FBI-sponsored foreign nationals "absconded" from the bureau's control, the audit found. While the bureau reported 39 missing individuals to the Department of Homeland Security, it failed to do so in 22 other cases until after the department had begun inquiring. One DEA-sponsored individual was also found to have absconded.
Source : VOA