FOREIGN criminals were paid £2.4million over 3½ years to quit Britain.
Some 1,740 crooks took up to £1,500 each to leave without staging costly appeals from April 2019 to June 2022.
The Facilitated Returns Scheme cash is put on a pre-paid card once an offender is back home.
Our stats come after we revealed illegal immigrant rapist Joachim Cardos was offered £1,250 and two months of medication if he returned to the Gambia — an offer the thug refused.
Separate figures show a record £18.7million was coughed up by taxpayers last year on deporting criminals.
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The sums included £7.5million for commercial flights, plus £11.2million to charter jets to nations not served by UK airports.
David Spencer, at the Centre for Crime Prevention, said: “This profligate waste of public money must stop immediately.”
The Home Office said: “We are deporting offenders earlier in a sentence and banning their return. It means we can protect our public from heinous crimes, while lowering costs on keeping them in jail.”