Nearly 400 Illegal Migrants Arrested at EU's External Border in Ten Months

November 8 (BTA) - Between January and October, border guards arrested 206 illegal migrants on Bulgaria's border with Turkey and 184 on the border with Greece, said the Interior Ministry approached by BTA. Most of the illegal migrants come from Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan and Syria.

Border Police officers prevented 2,122 attempts at illegal entry at the border with Turkey and 3,795 attempts at the border with Greece in the first ten months of the year.

Asked if extra measures have been taken in connection with the conflict in Syria, the Interior Ministry said protection measures on the border with Turkey are permanent and have not been prompted by that particular conflict. A special police operation against illegal migration is under way.

The staff in the Malko Turnovo area has been beefed up with more officers and all-terrain vehicles as it sees the strongest migrant pressure on the border with Turkey. Permanent surveillance is done by the Trilateral Bulgaria-Greece-Turkey contact centre at the Kapitan Andreevo checkpoint.

The Aerial Surveillance specialized force, the helicopter squadron of the Border Police, is also involved in border protection. Handheld thermal vision cameras, portable surveillance systems and night-vision devices are part of the equipment. Drones were introduced late in 2018, and new portable perimeter surveillance systems have been in use at the high-risk stretches of the EU's external border since mid-2019. New vehicles have also been provided, said the Interior Ministry.

An Integrated Surveillance System, whose scope was expanded in 2019, is used at the Bulgarian-Turkish border. Stationary technical surveillance, mobile surveillance systems and perimeter security systems are also in place.

The Interior Ministry has a plan for reacting with its own forces in emergencies caused by increased migrant pressure on the Bulgarian-Turkish border.

Source: Sofia