Almost 6,000 foreign citizens tried to cross the Romanian border illegally in 2017, with most of them, namely 3,006 trying to go out of the country, according to the annual activity report of the Romanian Border Police.
More than 2,800 foreigners tried to enter Romania illegally.
Most of the foreign citizens who tried to cross the border illegally were organized in groups of migrants managed by smugglers. The Border Police discovered a total of 738 migrant groups and 239 guides/carriers, both Romanian and foreign citizens, who helped the migrants cross the border.
Most of those who tried to enter or go out of Romania illegally last year were from countries such as Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, Turkey, Kosovo, India, Albania and Bangladesh.
“From the analyses carried out at the level of the institution, it has been established that Romania remains a transit country for illegal migrants who try to get to Western Europe. Even though the statistical indicators show an increase in the number of migrants compared to 2016 (when there were 1,624 foreign citizens who attempted to cross the border illegally), Romania, compared to the borders of other EU states, did not face a mass influx of people who try to cross the border illegally,” the Border Police said.
The migrants also began using the Black Sea route in the second half of last year. The Romanian Border Police encountered six such cases in that period, in which a total of 537 migrants from Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Syria and Afghanistan attempted to get from Turkey to Romania in six boats. All migrants were in danger, as the boats were overcrowded, but the Border Police officers managed to get them safely to Romanian ports.
The Border Police data also showed that a total of around 59.7 million people crossed the Romanian border checkpoints in 2017, up 6% from the previous year. Most of them, namely 49.2 million were EU citizens and 10.5 million came from non-EU countries.
“Compared to 2016, the traffic values for the persons who crossed the Romanian border increased by 6% overall, but on border sections there was a significant increase at the border with Bulgaria – about 30% and at the air borders – of 20 %.”
Irina Marica, [email protected]