Serbia police detain 2 wanted men in migrant crackdown

Dec 28, 2022, 3:13 PM | Updated: Dec 29, 2022, 5:52 am

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Serbian police said Thursday they have detained two people sought on international warrants during a raid to locate migrants and people smugglers near the border with Hungary.

Police said in a statement that the two are wanted for “various criminal acts.” A total of 109 migrants were found during the sweep near the town of Subotica, 25 of whom are “interesting security-wise” and will be processed, police added.

Police gave no other details about the two men sought internationally. State RTS television reported that they are Afghan army officers sought by France for terrorism and other serious criminal acts.

An automatic weapon was also found during the raid, police said.

In a separate operation near the border crossing of Horgos, police said they also found an additional 93 migrants who will be moved to asylum centers.

Serbia has stepped up efforts to curb migrant movement through the country that lies on the so-called Balkan route of migration. Migrants and refugees fleeing war and poverty in their countries often rely on people smugglers to take them across the borders.

Together with Hungary and Austria, Serbia has pledged to boost controls on the southern border with North Macedonia, from where most migrants enter Serbia before moving on toward Western Europe. They enter North Macedonia from Greece, after crossing from Turkey.

Migrants also come into Serbia from Bulgaria. They then move toward neighboring European Union countries Hungary, Croatia and Romania in hope of reaching wealthier EU nations to build a new future.


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