Austrian police have arrested five suspected human traffickers as part of an operation conducted along the country’s eastern borders.
The local authorities checked the vehicles entering Austria and they discovered more than 200 migrants from vehicles overnight. The security forces are checking the larger vehicles with space to hide since Sunday evening on the orders of Austria’s Interior Minister. EU member state Austria has stepped up border security to save lives and crackdown on human smugglers.
As part of the operation, police are stopping every car, truck and van in an effort to catch those trying to make money from people fleeing war and persecution. The extra border checks caused a 25-kilometer traffic jam on the Hungarian side of their shared border on Monday morning.
“In the hours since we started implementing these measures that we agreed with Germany, Hungary and Slovakia, we have been able to get more than 200 refugees out of such vehicles and we have been able to detain five smugglers,” said Konrad Kogler, director-general for public security at the ministry.
The latest crackdown came after last week’s discovery of 71 dead refugees, including a baby girl and three other children, inside an abandoned truck near Austria’s border with Hungary. According to reports, the Hungarian authorities have detained five people in connection with deaths of 71 people, most of them thought to be Syrians.
“We are seeing that the smuggler gangs are acting in ever more brutal and ruthless ways and we must counter them with stronger and harder measures,” said Johanna Mikl-Leitner, Interior Minister.
United Nations (UN) said that the continuing conflict in Syria is a major factor behind the rise in migrant numbers. The EU states particularly Greece, Italy and Hungary have struggled with the surge of migrants from the Middle East and Africa. IMAGE/channelnewsasia.com