Austria and Hungary pledge further border cooperation as manhunt for violent people smuggler who evaded authorities continues

By Dénes Albert
2 Min Read

Austria and Hungary have agreed to continue sharing intelligence and establishing joint investigation teams where appropriate to tackle border crime and keep their citizens safe, the Hungarian Minister of the Interior Sándor Pintér and his Austrian counterpart, Gerhard Karner, have confirmed.

At a joint press conference in Budapest on Tuesday, the pair assured the public that both countries plan to continue their exemplary cooperation in protecting the borders of the European Union, and revealed the two countries are also working together on police missions in the Balkans, attempting to nullify potential threats before they reach the respective nations’ borders.

Karner’s visit to Budapest was his first trip abroad since taking office last month, a decision he explained showed the strength of bilateral relations between the nations.

The ministers also confirmed that Hungarian and Austrian authorities are conducting a joint manhunt for a people smuggler of allegedly Romanian nationality who reportedly opened fire on Austrian soldiers manning the Hungarian-Austrian border on Monday.

A minivan with a Romanian license plate attempted to evade border checks at the Szentpéterfa-Eberau checkpoint, and when it was stopped by Austrian military, the driver fired several shots sparking a firefight in which no one was injured.

Austrian minister of interior Gerhard Karner (L) and his Hungarian counterpart Sándor Pintér in Budapest on January 18, 2022. (MTI/Koszticsák Szilárd)

Shortly after the incident, Hungarian Minister of Interior Sándor Pintér said police knew the identity of the perpetrator and vowed to apprehend him. It is the third incident of this nature in the space of two weeks on Hungary’s borders.

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