The number of migrants who are trying to enter Romania illegally has started to rise in recent weeks. Fearing that a new wave of refugees could arrive this autumn, authorities have announced that they will hike border police personnel and put border surveillance technology to maximum use. The refugees, most of them from Syria, are using Romania as a transit route toward Western Europe.
Thus, in the first 7 months of this year, border police officers have caught approximately 2,800 foreign citizens trying to illegally cross the border, 1,500 of them trying to enter Romania and 1,300 of them trying to exit the country. The persons caught by border police officers were organised in 416 groups. 170 human smugglers were identified.
In this context, the Romanian Border Police is announcing several measures meant to beef-up its border surveillance capacity, in order to prevent illegal migration, including the maximum use of daytime and night-time surveillance technology, supplementing its surveillance equipment and its personnel. According to the Border Police, an analysis of illegal migration shows that, in contrast to other EU member states, Romania has not faced a massive influx of persons trying to illegally cross its borders, but the situation is being carefully monitored.
Despite the fact that several cases of illegal border crossing have been registered in the last year, overall the national-level illegal migration indicators remain on the same trend and are lower than figures registered at European level, the aforementioned source adds.
The measures announced by the Border Police in order to prevent illegal migration include intensifying border surveillance via devices covering relevant border areas, particularly high-risk areas identified at the level of border police sectors, strengthening the border surveillance units, using to maximum capacity the daytime/night-time surveillance equipment, raising the number of surveillance equipment – mobile surveillance equipment, portable thermal vision equipment, special surveillance vehicles and high mobility vehicles – in order to boost operational capacity at the borders, and raising the number of central and territorial branch personnel that would progressively act in the border areas.
Likewise, Border Police units that currently carry out their activity in the border areas are backed by joint units formed by border policemen and gendarmes, carrying out daily border surveillance missions at the border with Serbia. Likewise, ground units are backed by a helicopter from the General Aviation Inspectorate, which carries out aerial surveillance missions both during the day and during the night, Border Police representatives stated, pointing out that similar measures meant to boost border surveillance capacities were also ordered at the Black Sea.
According to the aforementioned source, in order to manage the phenomenon, emphasis was placed on collaborating with authorities from neighbouring states. Thus, joint patrol missions have started at the border with Serbia. Likewise, the Border Police claims that cooperation with Hungarian authorities is “very efficient,” featuring joint operations for the prevention and combating of illegal migration and the exchange of data and information for the identification of persons who are trying to illegally cross the border. Likewise, at the border with Bulgaria, border control is carried out jointly. As a result, migrants who are caught are handed over to the Bulgarian border police, based on bilateral collaboration documents.
Timis: 38 Iraqi asylum-seekers discovered at Gara de Nord train station in Timisoara
38 Iraqi asylum-seekers registered at asylum centres in Galati and Bucharest were discovered by Railway Police officers at the Gara de Nord train station in Timisoara on Sunday. They were all registered at asylum centres in Galati and Bucharest.
“Railway Transport Police discovered 38 Iraqis in Gara de Nord – 11 women, 17 children and 10 men. They all had documents showing they came from centres in Galati and Bucharest and they are asylum-seekers. They will be handed over to the Regional Centre for the Housing and Processing of Asylum Seekers in Timisoara,” Timis County Police Spokesperson Ancuta Morariu stated for AGERPRES.
In all illegal migration cases, border police officers conduct investigations into illegal border crossing or attempted illegal border crossing, and the smugglers are investigated for trafficking migrants.
More than 200 migrants tried to enter Romania by sea during the weekend
Two vessels carrying migrants were intercepted by the Romanian Coast Guard. In total, 217 persons tried to illegally enter Romania by sea. 120 persons were taken into custody by the Turkish Coast Guard, while 97 persons who declared themselves Iraqis were taken into custody by Romanian authorities.
Thus, on Friday night, border policemen discovered a fishing vessel with 120 persons onboard. The fishing vessel was off the coast of Bulgaria and heading into Romanian territorial waters. Approximately 5 nautical miles from Romanian territorial waters, the Coad Guard used three ships to block the vessel until the Turkish Coast Guard arrived and took into custody the fishing vessel and the people onboard.
On Saturday morning, at around 7.10 a.m., border policemen discovered another vessel approximately one nautical mile from the joint Romanian-Bulgarian maritime border and from the Bulgarian coast. The vessel was heading for the Romanian coast. Around 11.30 a.m., the fishing vessel was safely escorted to the Port of Mangalia.
The fishing vessel had 97 persons onboard. The passengers stated they were from Iran and Iraq (40 men, 21 women and 36 children). They were taken into custody by border policemen, who are now investigating the case under the coordination of a prosecutor from the Prosecutor’s Office attached to the Constanta Court of Appeals. The migrants will be identified and will undergo medical tests, after which they will be sent to refugee centres in Romania.