Lawangeen Abdulrahimzai

The man who killed 2 Afghans in Serbia and a British citizen in the UK gets life sentence

Lawangeen Abdulrahimzai entered the UK illegally the day after Christmas in 2019 and claimed asylum as a 14 year old boy. But according to the Times newspaper, he was 18 and had come to the UK after his asylum application was rejected in Norway.

He had fled Afghanistan in 2015 and made to Europe through Pakistan and Iran, arriving in Serbia at the end of October 2015. He reached Norway soon after. And in July 2016, the Times reports, Abdulrahimzai was in Trieste, Italy. He was convicted of dealing drugs and was given a non-custodial sentence by an Italian court.

Tracking his journey, the Times says, Abdulrahimzai returned to Serbia in June 2017 under the name Huan Yasin, where he killed two Afghans after an argument over people-trafficking and fled to Norway in the summer of 2018. Serbian authorities told a court in July 2020 that Abdulrahimzai killed the two men with a Kalashnikov rifle, “firing six rounds into each victim, hitting them in the head.”

Claiming asylum in Norway under another assumed name, the Norwegian authorities rejected his application in December 2019, after which he left Scandinavia for the UK, journeying through mainland Europe. But he was already a wanted man in Serbia. A Serbian court had convicted and sentenced him to 20 years in prison.

The British Home Office, assessing Abdulrahimzai’s application, “stipulated that he could be treated as an adult only if his physical appearance and demeanour “strongly suggested” he was aged 25 or over.” Reports the Times newspaper. But he was placed with a foster family to be looked after as a teenager, in England’s southern port city of Bournemouth, and was admitted to a local high school.

According to reports, the police had been alerted that Abdulrahimzai, going by the name “Lo” had been carrying a machete in his bag at a cricket club. And his foster carer had told the police six times that he had been carrying a knife. 

And in the early hours of 12 March 2022, Abdulrahimzai fell into an argument with 21 year old Tom Roberts over an e-scooter and stabbed him twice before fleeing the scene. 

The British authorities, according to the BBC, found of Abdulrahimzai’s previous crimes and his asylum application rejection in Norway during his murder investigation. 

On 25 January, Abdulrahimzai was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.