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Bosnian police detain three human traffickers

Bosnian police detained three suspected human traffickers at two separate locations after they attempted to smuggle 19 migrants through the Balkan country.

Published: February 27, 2019, 7:59 am

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    On Tuesday, police confirmed to the Associated Press that two suspected traffickers were detained near Tuzla, in central Bosnia, with twelve migrants from Iraq, Iran and Pakistan.

    In a separate action, one person was caught on Monday and the illegal transfer of seven Turkish citizens from Bosnia to neighboring European Union member state Croatia was stopped.

    With the help of thermal cameras, the migrants who were hiding in ditches in the area of Corkovaca, near the Bosnia-Croatia border, were located by law enforcement.

    Thousands of migrants have headed for Bosnia in an effort to reach Western Europe with the help of human traffickers.

    Migrants traveling along the Balkan corridor, initially came through Greece after landing by sea from Turkey. They then travelled to Macedonia and Serbia in order to enter Croatia and Hungary, both EU member states. But in 2015 and 2016, countries along the route closed their borders, diverting migrants to other Balkan routes.

    Currently, migrants leaving Greece cross mountains and dense woodland to reach Albania and then Montenegro before reaching Bosnia. This small country has found itself at the epicenter of the crisis, as more people make their way there.

    Human traffickers promise a safe passage to Italy if migrants hand over 16 000 euros. The migrants have their passports confiscated by the traffickers, leaving them without documents. “It’s not a problem,” one explained to Foreign Policy magazine. “There [are] too many migrants here [in Bosnia]. No one will notice.”

    The International Organisation for Migration – the UN’s body in charge of managing global migration flows – have closely monitored the flow of illegals in the Western Balkans. Coordinator Peter Van der Auweraert told EuroNews that at least 85 percent of the illegals are economic migrants.

    A former military baracks was transformed into an official accommodation center for migrants stranded in the country by the Bosnia-and-Herzegovina authorities with groups of Somali and Pakistani men waiting outside.

    A few days after opening the center last year – which houses 400 people – is became totally overcrowded.

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