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Monday, 15 September 2008

Belarusian border guard shuts off major illegal migration channel to EU

The largest illegal migration channel of recent years that a Chechen transboundary criminal group attempted to use to smuggle migrants to the European Union has been shut off on the Belarusian-Lithuanian border, head of the press centre of the State Border Committee of Belarus Alexander Timoshenko told BelTA. On the night of Saturday Grodno border guard regiment troops carried out a successful raid near the Privalka border checkpoint. 24 illegal migrants, including 12 Vietnam citizens and 12 Pakistan citizens, were seized during an attempt to illegally cross the border. Meanwhile, six Russian citizens of the Chechen nationality, who had been involved in preparing the illegal channel, were arrested. The scheme the criminal group used is not new. The illegal migrants were delivered to Minsk by 4 Chechens on a Moscow-Kaliningrad train. After that five taxi cabs took the migrants to Grodno where two Chechens, who had arrived from Poland to transport the migrants to Lithuania and then to Poland, were expected to welcome the migrants. At present the Grodno border guard regiment is identifying the migrants and collecting evidence against the organisers and abettors of the illegal migration channel. A while ago another group of Chechens were arrested in the same border section for trying to smuggle 8 Chinese citizens to the European Union.


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