Between January 1 and October 31, a total of 2678 third-country nationals – meaning, non-EU citizens – had been detained in Bulgaria for illegal migration, Interior Minister Valentin Radev said on November 30.
This was 84.5% fewer than in the first 10 months of 2016, Radev told a regular monthly briefing, emphasising that this indicated that migratory pressure on Bulgaria had dropped sharply.
Of those taken into custody in the first 10 months of 2017, a total of 656 had been held trying to cross the border into the country, 406 seeking to exit and 1616 people within the country.
Of those seeking to enter or exit the border, the largest groups were citizens of Afghanistan (71), Syria (71) and Iraq, 42, according to Radev.
In October 2017, a total of 721 third-country nationals tried to cross the border into the country, which was 53.2 per cent less than in September.
Radev said that since the start of the year, 160 pre-trial proceedings had been initiated in connection with people-trafficking, 43 people had been prosecuted in court and 41 convicted.