Bulgaria Reports "Unprecedented" Surge of Illegal Migration

Bulgaria Reports "Unprecedented" Surge of Illegal Migration
Опубликовано: Thursday, 23 March 2023 16:17

Illegal migration into Bulgaria has surged to “unprecedented” levels, according to officials.

The number of illegal crossings being thwarted by Bulgarian authorities is up 30% since the beginning of the year, Acting Minister of Internal Affairs Ivan Demerdzhiev revealed last week, Novinite reports.

“The migrant pressure we are under is unprecedented,” Minister Demerdzhiev said during a meeting in Stara Zagora.

“I appeal to the next National Assembly to take measures and revise these three texts in the Penal Code, so that these people are deterred. Such a prevention would help tremendously.”

Demerdzhiev asserted that most smuggling attempts are intercepted.

“Because we hunt them down and capture them, it becomes public knowledge and creates the impression that there are more migrants,” he said.

“Our efforts are highly appreciated by Brussels, as we are reducing the number of people we let pass through our territory. In Italy, where the resources are more, traffic is increasing, but here it is decreasing.”

Sofia is reportedly securing and allocating more funding to bolster border patrols, primarily along the Turkish frontier, where many illegal crossings take place.

On Monday, a vehicle carrying more than a dozen male migrants from Afghanistan crashed when the driver, a Serbian national, attempted to evade police in Western Bulgaria.

One migrant died and 14 others were injured in the wreck, BNR reports.

Last week, a 23-year-old Ukrainian national was arrested for transporting 14 Syrian migrants on the Trakia highway in the Plovdiv region.

In February, Bulgarian authorities arrested multiple suspects after more than 50 Afghan migrants were found trapped inside an abandoned truck.

Last year, two Bulgarian police officers were killed when a bus carrying dozens of illegal migrants from Syria slammed into their patrol car in the seaside city of Burgas.


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