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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 December 2004, 12:27 GMT
Man 'living' in airport terminal
Mr Shah with a Kenyan official
Mr Shah is given food by Kenyan officials
In an echo of this year's Hollywood film, The Terminal, a man has been stuck in diplomatic limbo wandering around an airport terminal.

A Kenyan-born British man has spent six months in Kenya's international airport after being refused entry to the UK.

Sanjai Shah has spent his time sleeping and wandering about in the transit lounge on the outskirts of the capital.

He told the BBC he wants the British High Commission in Nairobi to send someone to the airport to sort it out.

"I am ready to stay here for another year," he says.

But the British High Commission says he has chosen to remain at the airport, despite being allowed to enter Kenya.

Mr Shah has a small mattress, sheets and a blanket and is given some rations by Kenya's government.

Missing family

He told the BBC's Muliro Telewa: "Life is very hard. You can sleep in the transit lounge, or wherever there is space. People are nice, they give me food. Others give me money.

"I miss my wife and kids and they miss me. But if you want something, you must be ready to lose something."

The Terminal
In The Terminal, Tom Hanks plays a man who lives in an airport
The High Commission says Mr Shah had no automatic right to live and settle in the UK despite giving up his Kenyan passport after being awarded a British Overseas Citizen passport.

His passport allows him entry into the UK but he was supposed to have a return ticket and sufficient funds to support his visit.

Immigration officials suspected he planned to stay in the UK so refused him entry and flew him back.

He said that he offered to buy a return ticket but was sent back, with a "prohibited immigrant" stamp in his passport, making it hard for him to travel to many countries.

"This is not our problem, it is London's," a Kenyan immigration official told AFP news agency.

"We have repeatedly told Shah to come to our offices for us to discuss his case and advise him on how to achieve his objectives, but he has refused and opted to stay at the airport," British High Commission spokesman Mark Norton said.

In the 2004 film, Tom Hanks plays an east European stuck in a New York airport after a war in his home country left him stateless.

The idea for the film came from a true story of an Iranian-born man who has lived in Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport for more than a decade.




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