When Bild reported on Thursday that 30,000 rejected asylum seekers had gone missing without a trace in Germany it was soon picked up in the international media. The only problem? It isn't true.

Bild described the case as the "disappearance scandal", claiming that German authorities - through sheer disorganization - had lost trace of roughly 30,000 migrants who had been told to leave the country.

The tabloid cited government figures from December 2016 which show that 54,437 people were believed to be in Germany at the time who had been asked to leave. At the same time, only 23,617 of these people were withdrawing welfare payments they were entitled to under German asylum law.

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