Skopje, 25 August 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Naser Pajaziti
Traffic of emigrants has returned to FYROM after the country decided to close its borders. Ministry of Interior says that with the closure of the southern border, the large influx of refugees was stopped, but not illegal routes.
The southern border with Greece is being exploited by organized groups that traffic illegal refugees.
The Ministry of Interior says that last month, 115 illegal refugees have been stopped, while 11 people have been arrested for trafficking them. “Authorities also arrested five police officers, who have collaborated with traffickers”, says the Ministry of Interior.
The Ministry says that security measures have been boosted in the border area in order to prevent illegal crossings and that this is being done in cooperation with police forces of several EU member countries.
Jasmin Redzepi of the humanitarian organization “Legis”, says that traffic of refugees has increased from November of last year, when the country started to take measures in controlling the numbers of refugees, while this traffic culminated when borders were closed in March of this year.
“When the border closed, refugees had no other alternatives and started to find illegal routes. Of course, alternative routes can be found and refugees are crossing the border through these illegal routes”, says Jasmin Redzepi, whose organization is situated in the southern and northern border of the country to follow the influx of refugees.
According to him, there are cases when refugees pay up to 10 thousand US to reach an EU country.
Helsinki Committee of Human Rights has expressed its concern for the growth of the number of illegal refugees and their trafficking.
“Last week, tens of refugees were stopped and sent in the center for refugees in Tabanoc, while a part of them have come back to the Greek border. There are warnings for a new wave of refugees, which are coming from the shores of the Aegean Sea. Measures should be taken to cope with this influx”, the Helsinki Committee says.
President of the country, George Ivanov has warned that the number of refugees is expected to rise. /balkaneu.com/