More than 130,000 asylum seekers may have disappeared in Germany, according to newly released government figures, raising concerns over terrorism and organized crime.
In a parliamentary answer, Angela Merkel's government said it had lost track of around 13 per cent of the 1.1? Million people registered as asylum seekers last year.
The missing people never arrived at the government refugee accommodation which had been assigned to them.
The interior ministry later tried to row back on the admission, claiming the figures had been exaggerated by errors in data entry.
But there will be concerns that those unaccounted for could include Islamic extremists or organized criminals who were posing as refugees.
The new figures emerged just two months after unconfirmed reports that the German authorities were urgently searching for 12 asylum seekers who had vanished. They were believed to have crossed the border using forged passports from the same source as those used by some of the Paris attackers.
The latest admission came in a written answer to a parliamentary question from the opposition Left Party.
The government said it believed many of those who had disappeared had simply moved on to other countries, while others had "gone underground illegally".
Mrs Merkel has moved to tighten asylum rules in recent months, and economic migrants with no genuine claim may choose to go underground to avoid deportation, foreign media reports.