Dozens of migrants scatter from a van after a wild chase across Prague

By Lucie Ctverakova
3 Min Read

A wild chase ended in Prague’s Holešovice district on Thursday morning when a van transporting mostly Syrian migrants crashed. The police detained 23 people, and another six were subsequently discovered by a police helicopter. A spokesman for the Prague police, Richard Hrdina, later announced that the driver, who managed to escape after the crash, had probably already been found.

“Criminal proceedings were initiated against the driver suspected of committing the crime of organizing and allowing the illegal crossing of the state border. If convicted, he can spend up to two years behind bars. If the investigation proves that he did so for a fee, the sentence will increase to five years,” said Hrdina.

Several police patrols took part in the chase of the van after it did not stop during a routine inspection on the D1 motorway near Prague. The van drove through the center of Prague to the Holešovice district, where the vehicle broke through the barrier at the premises of one of the companies and crashed after hitting a tree trunk.

“Immediately after the accident, the driver started fleeing the place, and with him about 30 migrants who were hiding in the cargo area,” Hrdina added.

A helicopter was also looking for the migrants. It managed to discover six migrants who escaped from the van and were hiding in the undergrowth. Foreign police took all the detained people into custody.

“These migrants were taken over on the spot by police officers from the foreign police, who will now find out if they have applied for asylum in one of the neighboring countries and how they got in the Czech Republic,” the spokesman explained. Last year, the police detained 83 Syrians passing through the Czech Republic illegally. After the 129 Afghans caught on the Czech territory, they were the second-largest group of migrants by nationality. However, according to police statistics, Syrians are not among the nationals most interested in staying in the Czech Republic. Last year, it was mostly Ukrainians, Moldovans, and Vietnamese.

Title image: A group of Afghans detained in Prague after the car chase. (The Police of the Czech Republic)

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