Border Guard: 424 illegal border crossing attempts, 160 smugglers detained
Polish Border Guard said on Wednesday it has prevented 424 attempts of illegal crossing of the Polish-Belarusian border. Six people have been detained. The police is detaining more and more people transporting migrants. According to TVN24 reporter Konrad Borusiewicz, smugglers have already tried to move over 500 people.
Police officers from Bielsk Podlaski on Tuesday morning detained a 46-year-old Georgian citizen, who was carrying six illegal migrants. One man was travelling in the boot of the vehicle. The driver attracted attention when he was driving against the traffic in Bielsk, and did not stop for road control.
Bielsk Podlaski police spokesperson said the men the driver was carrying were Iraqi citizens. Three of them required medical assistance.
This was yet one of many such interventions in recent days. Another Georgian was detained after a police chase on Monday morning on the S8 expressway in Rzędziany. He was carrying 15 Iraqis in his vehicle.
The police also informed about an Albanian citizen who carried seven Iraqi migrants. When trying to escape the police, he smashed his car in a patrol car and tried to push another one off the road. He has been arrested.
An Iraqi citizen, who was running away from the police in Białystok, 200 km/h with six of his compatriots in the car, has also been arrested.
Police in Podlaskie province informed that over 160 drivers carrying migrants have been detained since the start of the border crisis.
"The smugglers have tried to move over 500 people," said TVN24 reporter Konrad Borusiewicz. He added that the smugglers were usually men aged 25-35 of various nationalities, including Poles, Ukrainians, and Syrians.
The Border Guard informed that 424 attempts of illegal border crossing were recorded on Tuesday alone. Six migrants have been detained.
Germany offers to help Poland
Germany is not considering closing its border with Poland to stem the flow of migrants trying to cross into the European Union from Belarus, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said on Wednesday. "No one intends to close the border," Seehofer told journalists at a conference on the migration situation in Germany. Last week, Germany's federal police said that the number of people entering the country from Poland after travelling from Belarus had risen above 4,300 since August, compared to just 26 registered in the period from January to July. Germany - the most popular final destination among asylum seekers in the EU - had offered Poland logistical support and proposed setting up joint inspections at the Polish-German border to identify cross-border commuters and uncover smuggling activities, Seehofer added. The number of asylum applications in Germany is set to be higher this year than in 2020, having already reached 80,000 in the January to September period, compared with 76,061 in 2020. Despite the rising number, the current immigration situation is not comparable to the 2014-2016 period, Seehofer said, referring to the years when more than one million people reached Europe via Greece and the Balkan route, fleeing wars, persecution and poverty in the Middle East and beyond.
"The key is in Moscow"
Seehofer said Belarus, which has expanded the list of the nationalities that can enter it without a visa, is using migrants as a political threat. He called on Russia to put pressure on Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko to stop illegal migration to the European Union. "We are convinced that the key is probably in Moscow," Seehofer said. Many EU states accuse Minsk of sending illegal migrants across the border into the EU to put pressure on the bloc, which imposed sanctions on Belarus after Lukashenko's disputed re-election in August 2020. Lukashenko denies this and has blamed the West for what he says is a looming humanitarian catastrophe this winter after migrants were left stranded on the Belarusian-Polish border.
Źródło: TVN24 News in English, PAP, Reuters, tvn24.pl
Źródło zdjęcia głównego: KPP Bielsk Podlaski