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Five banned English hooligans in Germany-police

Written by: Staff
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NEUSS, Germany, June 7 (Reuters) The head of the German police unit monitoring hooliganism said today that five banned English troublemakers and possibly more were believed to have entered Germany.

They are all subject to banning orders, which are central to the British government's drive to curb hooliganism and prevent known troublemakers from leaving the country by obliging them to surrender their passports.

British authorities issued some 3,300 banning orders ahead of the World Cup but not all those affected have handed over their passports.

Michael Endler, head of the ZIS information centre, said about 180 passports were still missing.

''Of these 180 individuals, five have entered Germany according to our information.'' He added: ''We don't yet know how they entered Germany. We are trying to find out where they are and whether any more than five have managed to get in.'' Endler played down concerns about the missing passports and whether this might increase the chance of violence during the World Cup.

''The number of missing passports has been reduced to 180 from an earlier reported 300 ... this gives us a 95 percent success rate.'' The banning orders would significantly help security during the World Cup, Endler said, but he stressed authorities were not viewing the fans of England or any other country in a higher risk category.

REUTERS DH PM1625

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