According to information from the Interior Ministry, recent days have seen a significant increase in the numbers of people apprehended.
On August 9 there were three separate incidents. One saw 36 Iraqi citizens detained, another saw 29 Iraqis detained. Both these incidents involved the land border with Belarus. The third incident saw one Afghan, two Sri Lankans and two Indian citizens crossing the state border via the River Daugava.
On August 8, there were five separate incidents in which 30 Iraqi nationals were detained. Four of that number were detained trying to cross the border via the River Daugava, the rest via the land border.
August 7 brought four separate incidents. In the largest, 26 Iraqis were detained. The other incidents saw 13 Iraqis, one Iranian and one Egyptian detained.
August 6 saw signs of illegal border crossings reported but no detentions.
August 5 brought 16 Iraqis to the Latvian border, 12 of whom tried to cross via the River Daugava, and August 4 saw 12 Iraqis detained on the land border.
In total from June 1 until August 9, a total of 220 third-country nationals were detained at the Latvia-Belarus border, far more than usual. In all of 2020 there were 81 illegal immigrants caught at the Latvia-Belarus border, and in 2019 there were just 46.
It is widely assumed that people from third countries seeking to enter the European Union are taken to the border with the explicit assistance of the Belarus authorities as part of deranged dictator Alexander Lukashenko's hybrid attack on the EU.
"At present, the relations of the Republic of Latvia with the Republic of Belarus have deteriorated. There is also reason to believe that the Republic of Belarus does not control the migration situation.
Taking into account the above, it can be stated that the threat of illegal immigration on the state border of the Republic of Latvia and the Republic of Belarus is increasing significantly," says the briefing document.