Bulgaria’s State Agency for National Security, assisted by Sofia police, carried out a special operation in the capital city on July 1, reportedly detaining more than 30 migrants in an action directed against people-trafficking.
During the operation, which took place near the Women’s Market, police closed off a section between Tsar Samuil and Saints Kiril and Metodii streets and Slivnitsa Boulevard and did not allow the passage of pedestrians.
The operation was similar to one at the same place in May, in which 24 people were detained.
Reports said that the July 1 operation concentrated on a house in Tsar Samuil Street, in which a large number of people, mainly from Syria, had been living illegally.
Those detained were taken to the refugee facility in Voenna Rampa in Sofia.
Public broadcaster Bulgarian National Radio, quoting its own sources, said that at the same time as the operation in the centre of Sofia, State Agency for National Security officials and police conducted searches at several other places in the city, looking for people linked to the trafficking of refugees to Bulgaria and onwards to Western European countries.
The report quoted residents of Tsar Samuil Street as saying that there was a constant stream of refugees arriving to live in abandoned houses on the street, and that they “often cause problems and fights”.
Separate reports quoted the detained refugees as saying that they had lived in the house for more than three months and had not caused any problems.
The operation in Sofia came a few days after police detained 120 illegal immigrants in an early-morning operation near the village of Lozen. Travelling in a lorry and another vehicle, the migrants were on a road to Sofia and, Interior Ministry officials said, were probably headed onward to Western European countries.
(Photo: Bart Groenhuizen/sxc.hu)