Al-Zein arrived with his wife in Germany in 1982 claiming to be a ″stateless Palestinian″ born in Beirut and requesting asylum. Later investigations by a special police task force established that he was born 1966 in Anatolia under the name of Mahmoud Uca. He is believed to hold Lebanese or Turkish citizenship, possibly both, but the situation is unclear as he could possibly be stateless, continuing to hamper ongoing attempts to deport him. His claim for asylum was denied in 1984 and the decision upheld despite appeals in 1988 and 1992. Attempts to deport him to Turkey, following convictions for drug trafficking offences, failed after Turkey officially stripped him of his Turkish citizenship, on the grounds that he allegedly dodged the obligatory military service in Turkey.
Al-Zein is married and has 10 children, and has brother named Youssef Elzein which was a champion of Lebanon seven times.
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