A Croatian police have detained nine people suspected of smuggling migrants into the country from neighboring Serbia, said a police statement on Friday, quoted here by the Associated Press.
The suspects joined forces with unidentified persons in Serbia to organize the illegal entry of foreigners into the country via the Danube River for financial gain, according to the statement. All suspects arrested are Croatian citizens, it adds.
The Danube separates Croatia to the east from Serbia. Both countries are located on the so-called Balkan land route, used by migrants trying to reach Western Europe.
Thousands of people from the Middle East, Africa or Asia usually arrive in Greece or Bulgaria from Turkey, before heading to North Macedonia, Serbia or Bosnia.
From Serbia, migrants often turn to human traffickers to make the crossing, without authorization, to the neighboring countries of the European Union – Croatia, Hungary and Romania -, even risking abuse, closed borders and harassment.
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