Bulgaria boosts checkpoints to control migrant smugglers

Bulgaria is setting up new checkpoints along its border with Turkey to stop migrant smuggling, a top police official said Monday.

The country is planning checkpoints on minor roads and on paths frequently used by smugglers, national police director Hristo Terziyski told state TV.

Migrants are normally taken through Turkey, aiming to reach Serbia en route to wealthier European countries. To address this path, the new checkpoints will initially be built in the Burgas area, in the south-eastern corner of Bulgaria, Terziyski said.

At the peak of the recent migration crisis, the vast majority of people arriving from Turkey travelled into Greece, then Macedonia and Serbia, avoiding Bulgaria.

But after countries on that route sealed their borders in March, an increasing number of migrants turned to the Turkish-Bulgarian border as the gateway to Europe.

The migrants usually attempt to sneak through, avoiding registration.

Separately, Bulgarian General Konstantin Popov said the country's army is ready to deploy more soldiers to the border area to help deal with the growing pressure of migrants, novinite.com reported.

Last update: Mon, 15/08/2016 - 16:05

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