Two Ukrainians Detained in Poland for Alleged Migrant Smuggling

Written by Camilla Jessen

Mar.25 - 2024 3:08 PM CET

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Polish authorities have detained two Ukrainian drivers on suspicions related to the illegal transportation of migrants near the Belarus border.

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Polish authorities have detained two Ukrainian nationals on suspicions related to migrant transportation near the Belarus border. One was allegedly involved in transporting illegal migrants, while the other was apprehended during the act.

According to a statement from the Podlaskie Voivodeship police service on March 25, the first individual, a 43-year-old man driving an Opel with Lublin plates, was stopped near Novosadi, close to the Belarusian border, for a routine check. Unable to provide a clear destination, he eventually admitted to making the lengthy journey for 1,200 zlotys (approximately 288 US Dollars).

During the stop, a group of five individuals approached the vehicle, seemingly unaware of the police presence before hastily retreating in the opposite direction.

The police pursued and detained the group, identifying them as citizens of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Increased Border Activity

The following day, authorities intercepted a Seat vehicle with Poznań registration near Hajnówka, in the same vicinity as the previous incident. Inside, they discovered five individuals from Afghanistan who had managed to cross the border undetected. The vehicle was operated by a 40-year-old Ukrainian driver.

Polish law stipulates severe penalties for facilitating illegal border crossings, with convictions carrying sentences of up to eight years in prison.

Polish border officials have recently noted a surge in attempts to illegally cross the border coming from Belarus.

Data from Eurostat reveals that over one million asylum seekers arrived in European Union countries in 2023. Despite these figures, they fall short of the migration crisis's zenith in 2015-2016, triggered by the conflict in Syria.

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