ROME — Italian police have arrested a Pakistani asylum seeker on charges of dealing narcotics, catching him in possession of 180 doses of heroin.

The asylum seeker was apprehended Friday in the northern Italian port city of Pesaro, on the Adriatic Sea. The news travelled quickly to Rome, where Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Matteo Salvini — sworn enemy of illegal immigration — promised deportation for such “delinquents”.

“A Pakistani ‘asylum-seeker’ has been arrested, caught in Pesaro by the police with 180 doses of heroin! DISGUSTING! All-out war on death dealers! #zerotolerance, get these delinquents OUT of Italy!!!” he tweeted late Friday night, with an accompanying photo of the drugs that were confiscated.

Last year, the Italian government passed the Security and Immigration Decree, commonly known as the Salvini Decree, which tightened existing immigration legislation.

Among the Decree’s provisions concerning asylum applicants, in the event an asylum seeker undergoes criminal proceedings or is convicted for one of the offences for which refugee status is denied, the police commissioner must immediately inform the relevant Territorial Commission.

The Commission will then hear the asylum seeker and make a ruling on the case. If the Commission rejects the asylum application, the foreigner must leave the country, even if an appeal against the decision is pending.

The decree explicitly extends the scope to deny international protection status for people who have committed crimes of sexual violence, serious bodily harm, violence against a public official, aggravated robbery, and drug trafficking.

Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter

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