120 Syrian Refugees Arrested upon Entering Sofia
A total of 120 Syrian nationals hiding in a TIR truck were arrested upon entering Sofia in a police operation held early on Monday.
The refugees were taken to the 8th Regional Police Department in Sofia.
According to reports of the Bulgarian National Radio, police have intercepted a human smuggling scheme used to take refuges from the border to Sofia.
The truck was accompanied by other cars and the people traveling in them were also arrested.
The operation was conducted at the entry point to Sofia from the Trakia motorway.
According to Bulgaria’s Interior Ministry, human smugglers often use the early morning hours to transport illegal immigrants, assuming that there are very few police officers patrolling at that time.
Mladen Marinov, head of the Sofia Directorate of the Interior Ministry, announced at a press conference that five Bulgarian nationals suspected of participating in the scheme had also been arrested.
He explained that an investigation was underway to determine their involvement in the human smuggling scheme.
Marinov, as cited by dnevnik.bg, noted that two cars and a truck had been seized, adding that they had been used to transport the illegal immigrants.
He said that pre-trial proceedings had been opened into the case.
Marinov claimed that the Syrian nationals had most probably sought to cross Bulgaria to reach Western Europe.
The head of the Sofia Directorate of the Interior Ministry informed that the Syrian nationals would undergo medical check-ups and identity verification procedures.
He told journalists that the Interior Ministry would contact the State Agency for Refugees to establish their status of refugees or persons residing without authorization.
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