Migrant smuggling suspicions prompt two arrests in Serbia

Serbian police said Thursday that they have arrested two men in separate cases of suspicion of smuggling migrants, in one incidence finding dozens of migrants living in a house in Belgrade.

Police found 34 Afghan migrants in a home in the Mirijevo borough on the outskirts of the capital and arrested the homeowner, who is now facing charges related to human trafficking, according to police.

In a separate incident in the southern town of Vladicin Han, close to Serbia's border with Macedonia and Bulgaria, police arrested a man transporting six migrants in his car, a statement said Thursday.

Meanwhile, Serbian customs officials in the western village of Batrovci stopped seven Afghan nationals hiding in a truck that was bound for Croatia. It was not clear whether the driver was smuggling them or whether they had sneaked into his trailer.

Balkan countries sealed their borders to migrants and refugees in March, blocking the massive flow of people, mainly Syrians, Iraqis and Afghans, hoping for asylum in wealthy European Union countries.

The Balkan route, however, is still used by migrants. There are thousands stranded in Serbia alone, though at a far smaller scale than during the peak of the migration crisis in 2015 and 2016.

According to figures from the UN refugee agency, there are currently about 4,400 asylum seekers and migrants in Serbian centres.

Last update: Fri, 26/08/2016 - 16:15

More from Balkan

Bulgaria snap polls set for March 26

Bulgarian President Rumen Radev on Tuesday appointed former parliament speaker Ognjan Gerdzhikov as caretaker prime...

EP Foreign Affairs Committee warns of rising tensions in W. Balkans

Members of the Committee on Foreign Affairs on Tuesday expressed concern over rising tensions and incendiary...

Bosnia Presidency chair suspected of disrepecting Cons. Court ruling

Bosnia and Herzegovina Presidency Chairman Mladen Ivanic, who is the Serb representative in the tripartite body, was...

Croatian officials pledge support for Croats to return to Bosnian Serb entity

State-Secretary in the State Office for Croats Abroad and State-Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign and European...

Media: Bosnia, Serbia mending regional relations by restoring cooperation

The meeting and official talks between Bosnia and Herzegovina Prime Minister Denis Zvizdic and Serbian Prime...