Attempts at illegal crossings of Bulgarian – Serbian border on the rise – report

A total of 554 migrants were intercepted crossing the border from Bulgaria into Serbia in July 2016, reports said on August 3, as Bulgaria’s Interior Minister said that migrant-trafficking rings had been increasingly active in recent days.

Roumyana Buchvarova said, however, that her Serbian counterpart had told her that his country had registered a decrease in the number of migrants crossing into Serbia illegally from Bulgaria.

A report by public broadcaster Bulgarian National Television said that Border Police had confirmed the number of people who had attempted to cross illegally into Serbia last month, and added that many of the detainees were undocumented.

Recently, Serbia said that it was deploying joint police and military patrols at its border with Bulgaria, criticising Sofia for what Belgrade said was ineffective border policing against illegal migration.

The most recent large group of migrants attempting to cross the border into Serbia illegally was on August 1, when 62 people were taken into custody.

The “critical points” most often used by migrants to try to leave Bulgaria for Serbia were Bregovo, Kosovo, Deleina and Podgore, according to the BNT report.

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