Hungarian police say they are dealing with between 600 and 800 illegal entry attempts into Hungary every week since the end of May, when Hungary lifted its coronavirus restrictions, with most attempts coming from the Serbian border to the south and the Romanian one to the east.
According to police statistics, last week alone, Hungarian border guards and police prevented the entry of 147 illegal immigrants and caught another 605 migrants who crossed over, who were then sent back to the country they entered Hungary from.
Migrants are also operating with the help of people smugglers, some who come from neighboring European countries. For example, in the early hours of Monday morning, Hungarian police, acting on information from the International Crimes Department, detained two vehicles carrying 13 illegal migrants all who claimed to be Syrian, the National Police announced on its official site.
The two cars, one with Romanian and one with Austrian registration, had been stopped on the M1 motorway linking Budapest to Vienna.
Both cars were driven by Romanian nationals. Police said that all involved persons are currently being held at the Győr-Moson-Sopron County police in northwestern Hungary. After questioning, the illegal migrants will be deported to Romania while the two drivers — pending the outcome of questioning — are expected to be charged with people smuggling.
If convicted, they face one to five years in prison or — if it turns out they were part of an organized network — five to fifteen years.
Hungary has accused the European Commission of waging a systematic fight against Hungary’s attempts to protect its border, but has vowed to keep its border fence and defend its borders.
“The [European] Commission is working systematically on weakening European border defense and taking away the means to effectively acting against illegal migration from the member states, chief among them being Hungary,” Hungarian government spokesman Zoltán Kovács said in June of this year.
Kovács said that the previous European Commission launched a political attack against the border fence Hungary built in the summer of 2015 to stem the migration inflow and is constantly working together with NGOs which “unequivocally support and even organize migration”.
He also referenced a European Court of Justice (ECJ)’s ruling on Thursday that found Hungary illegally held asylum seekers at the Röszke transit zone on the border with Serbia, with Hungarian officials saying that Europe’s top court is putting border defense capabilities of nation states at risk.
Title image: Car carrying illegal migrant apprehended on the M1 motorway linking Budapest to Vienna. (source: police.hu)