site.btaOver 300 Migrants Intercepted in Single Day, Authorities Report
Over 300 migrants were intercepted in Bulgaria in a single day on one occasion and 19 cases were opened, Deputy Prosecutor General Maria Pavlova said, speaking at a briefing Friday. Other participants in the briefing included Interior Ministry Chief Secretary Peter Todorov, National Police Chief Atanas Ilkov and the Director of the General Directorate for Combating Organized Crime (DGCOC), Yavor Serafimov.
What is important to the authorities is not only that migrants be intercepted and repatriated, but that the organizers of these groups, who frequently operate outside Bulgaria too, be arrested, Pavlova said. She expressed hope that MPs will support revisions to the law and reconsider the extent of the penalties for such crimes to act as a sort of deterrent.
This type of crime is dangerous not only for the migrants, but for the policemen working to crack such operations as well, Todorov said. The organizers of "canals" become more and more inventive by the day, Ilkov added, citing a recent case in which 40 migrants were found concealed in a cistern. Although the number of migrants who have been prevented from entering the country is large, more border police should be appointed in the risk areas, not some being detailed temporarily there, he added.
DGCOC is tailing 59 criminal groups with over 250 members, Serafimov said.