When Yonas Fikre stepped off a luxury private jet at Portland airport last month, the only passenger on a $200,000 flight from Sweden, he braced for the worst.
Would the FBI be waiting? That would mean more interrogation, maybe arrest. But he told himself that whatever happened it could hardly be as bad as the months of torture he endured in a foreign jail before years of exile in Scandinavia.
A US immigration officer boarded the plane and asked for his passport. Fikre handed over the flimsy travel document that was valid for a single flight to the US. The officer said all was in order. He was free to go.
“I don’t think they knew who I was. I think they thought I was just some rich guy who’d come on a private jet. A rapper or someone,” said Fikre.