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Border guards nab suspected people smugglers

Latvian border guards have detained two men, who had illegally crossed the border from Russia and are suspected of organizing illegal border crossings for a group of Vietnamese, the BNS newswire reported Friday.

The Latvian National Border Guard spokeswoman, Kristine Petersone, told BNS that the two men were detained on June 1 in the Goliseva municipality in eastern Latvia.

The Latvian border guards patrolling in the border area noticed footprints and followed them until they caught up with the trespassers, who tried to run away.

One of the trespassers was caught quickly. It was a 26-year old Russian citizen with an Estonian residence permit and a previous criminal record, who also faces administrative charges for smuggling.

The other trespasser was caught after a chase with participation of border guards from other stations in the vicinity and a helicopter. It turned out to be a 48-year-old Estonian non-citizen.

The Latvian National Border Guard promptly sent the information about the detained suspects to Russian border guards. As a result, a group of Vietnamese citizens preparing to cross the Russian-Latvian border illegally, was detained in Russia’s Krasnogorodsk municipality.

The number of illegal immigrants from Vietnam caught at illegally crossing the border into Latvia has increased steeply in recent months. The Latvian border guards have detained more than 100 Vietnamese in the first five months of this year.

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