Bulgaria’s State Agency for National Security (SANS), working with police and the Migration Directorate, detained more than 150 illegal immigrants, including children, in the Women’s Market area of central Sofia, Bulgarian National Television said on May 20.
Those held were said by the report to be mainly from Afghanistan.
Those detained reportedly had been staying in hostels in the Lion Bridge area, where many immigrants live. Apart from illegal migrants, people allegedly involved in people-trafficking also were arrested.
Four men were seen being led away in handcuffs by police who put them in a bus.
The special operation began soon after 9pm on May 20, when police halted traffic on Maria Louisa Boulevard near the Women’s Market. For more than two hours, traffic on Maria Louisa Boulevard was blocked by two Migration Directorate vehicles.
There was a large presence of police at a perimeter around Lion’s Bridge, Maria Louisa Boulevard, Pop Bogomil Street, while there were 10 police vehicles in the area.
Only trams continued running normally as police diverted traffic.
Police carried out dozens of checks on the identity documents of people passing through the area.
Reports said that the detainees included three children, apparently aged between five and seven, who were also put into vehicles along with the men who were taken away in handcuffs.