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March 9, 2023

Czech Police Arrest 5 People for Smuggling Migrants to Germany

Czech authorities have arrested five members of a global smuggling ring who were smuggling undocumented migrants to Germany and other Western European countries through the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia.

According to the police, some suspects have already confessed to carrying out illegal activities. If found guilty, they could face up to 12 years in prison, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

InfoMigrants explains that the police raided cities such as Prague, Brno, and Mlada Boleslav and are still looking for four other suspects who were being investigated.

The group of smugglers allegedly ran an officially registered company that claimed to employ foreign workers for Czech companies. At the same time, about 130 similar cases were found.

Figures show that last year, 277 suspected human traffickers were arrested in the Czech Republic, four times more than in 2021.

Prague police also revealed that in the past year, the number of irregular migrants entering the Czech Republic doubled to 29,235. Meanwhile, in 2021 due to the restrictions for COVID-19, Czech Republic registered a smaller number of irregular immigrants, which was 11,170.

Data from the Czech Republic’s Interior Ministry also show that in 2022, almost 21,000 of the arrivals were Syrian nationals seeking to travel to Western Europe. The same revealed that only 694 migrants, including 50 Syrians, applied for asylum in the Czech Republic itself.

In September 2022, the Czech Republic reinforced its 250-kilometre border with Slovakia due to the increasing number of migrants transiting to Germany. The purpose of introducing the controls was initially to counter an increase in migration on the Balkan route to the European Union.

Additionally, last month, the Czech Republic announced that it would no longer extend internal border controls on the border with Slovakia, as existing controls ended on February 5.

In this regard, the Ministry pointed out that the controls will be completed after four months of being established.

The authority also added that from the beginning of January 2022 to September, the number of illegal immigrants had increased by 1,200 per cent, to more than 11,000 illegal migrants detected by the police, most of them Syrian.

Moreover, January 25, 2022, was the last time that controls between the Czech Republic and Slovakia were extended and lasted for a period of ten days. According to the Ministry, the measure has worked since border authorities detected 9,567 people in illegal migration, and 2,545 of them have refused entry since the beginning of October.