Border Guard snags traffickers of Vietnamese

Two apparent human traffickers from Russia with a group of eight illegal migrants from Vietnam have been detained in the eastern Latgale province this week for illegally crossing the Latvian border, BNS learned from the Latvian State Border Guard Tuesday.

Acting on a tip-off, border guards separately detained two passenger cars with the Vietnamese immigrants inside on the Moscow-Riga highway overnight on Monday, March 2.

The first of the vehicles, a Toyota Corolla, having held four of the Vietnamese who made an unsuccessful attempt to escape, were being held in the district of Nirza. The second of the cars, an Opel Astra, with four immigrants from Vietnam inside, was detained in the district of Zalesje.

The drivers of the cars, Russian citizens aged 32 and 21, were detained for attempting to illegally transport the Vietnamese across the border.

Latvian law enforcement authorities have launched criminal actions against the eight Vietnamese and two Russians for trespassing across the state border and for the smuggling of people across the border.

Just last week Latvia’s courts sentenced a Russian citizen to a four-month jail term after finding him guilty of human trafficking in a similar case which ended tragically when one of the Vietnamese men drowned in the border crossing attempt.

Last year several such groups and their transporters were detained trying to enter and transit through Latvia deeper into other western EU member states. The costs of detaining and deporting these persons are a considerable budgetary burden upon the state Border Guard service.

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