Number of illegal border crossings stable, say Border Guard

More than 430 illegal border crossers have been detained on the Latvian 'green' border this year, a statistic that has not significantly changed for the second consecutive year. 

At the same time, the Border Guard have ensured that the number of people illegally crossing the border has not increased, Border Guard chief Normunds Garbars told Latvian Television's Rīta panorāma Tuesday.

"This year it's 436 - if I'm not mistaken - people who've been detained on the 'green' border, but at the same time [...] people have been detained trying to cross the border at crossing points, trying to use falsified documents. And of those there are more than 500 in total for the year," said Garbars.

"All of the attempts to relocate people are overseen by organized groups," he said.

Garbars said that people smugglers are coming up with novel ways of getting people across the border.

For example, last week illegal border crossers embarked on a freight train on Russian soil and jumped off the train upon reaching Latvian territory. 

The Border Guard are turning 25 on December 13. For the next two years the structure has been allotted twice as much money as before, which means that the Border Guard will become more effective, says Garbars.

Latvia has built a little above 20 km of the planned 90-km fence on parts of the border with Russia. A fence on the border with Belarus is planned as well.

Last year 476 illegal border crossers were caught on Latvia's 'green' border with Russia and Belarus. 

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