migrBulgaria’s prosecutor’s office said on December 29 that police has detained a Macedonian national as he was driving a lorry with 119 migrants. The driver, who had a Bulgarian residence permit, would be investigated and could face charges of people-trafficking.
The prosecution statement said that the migrants came mainly from Syria and Iraq, but had no identity documents. The migrants, which included an unspecified number of children, would be sheltered in refugee centre.
Prosecutors said that the 55-year-old Macedonian national was promised 5000 euro in exchange for driving the truck from Istanbul to a point inside Bulgaria. The lorry was stopped by police near Pazardjik, in southern Bulgaria.
Bulgarian National Radio quoted police spokesperson Miroslav Stoyanov saying that the number of migrants in the lorry was 109 and included young men, women and “quite a few children.”
“According to preliminary estimates, they are from Syrian and Iraqi territories. We are currently in the process of establishing their identities and country of origin, as well as their medical status, considering that [this group] includes young children. Afterwards, they will be taken to temporary housing for refugees, administered by the migration directorate of the Interior Ministry,” he was quoted as saying.
(A woman carrying a child under a blanket walks on a muddy path in the southern Serbian town of Preševo, on the border with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, in September. Photo: UNICEF/Tomislav Georgiev)