Vietnamese border crossings into Latvia slow down

The flow of Vietnamese citizens illegally crossing into Latvia with the aim of traveling further onwards into Europe has lessened in recent weeks, Interior Minister Rihards Kozlovskis (Unity) told Latvian Radio Wednesday.

The minister explained that the flow of illegal Vietnamese border crossers has lessened due to the active work of border guards and other authorities in reacting to illegal immigration.

He said that several dozen illegal immigrants have received prison sentences for illegal border crossing, and court proceedings have been initiated against people smugglers. Overall, 80 people smugglers have already been detained so far this year.

The minister also said that some of the Iraqi citizens detained earlier this year have left the 'Mucenieki' refugee center for other countries.

Kozlovskis repeated that Latvia cannot take in any additional refugees at the moment than the previously agreed upon amount. He also said that the first batch of refugees to Latvia could arrive from Italy and Greece in January.

As reported, the government on November 3 finally approved the fine-tuned Refugee Accommodation Plan meant to upgrade the existing system for hosting migrants, and their ''socioeconomic integration into Latvian society."

Latvia has agreed to accommodate 531 refugees that will be relocated from Italy and Greece.

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