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Romania rescues migrants on Black Sea, the new people-smuggling route

Europe
13.09.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Bucharest (dpa) - Romania‘s coastguard on Wednesday rescued a group of migrants from a boat drifting on the Black Sea, in another incident on the new route for smugglers transporting people from Turkey toward Europe.

The coastguard found 157 Iraqi and Iranian migrants, 56 of them children, on board a fishing cutter battered by waves. The ship was tugged to safety in Constanta with its passengers.

There was no information about the smugglers. 

Five days before, the coastguard rescued more than 200 migrants from two overloaded boats in distress.

The International Organization for Migration said on Tuesday that smugglers opened a new channel in the Balkans to circumvent the tightly controlled Hungarian and Croatian borders with Serbia.

Instead of sending migrants by land from Turkey through Bulgaria and Serbia, the smugglers are now putting them on boats sailing to Romania.

Hungary, the first on the Balkan route to build a border fence with neighbouring Serbia to stop migrants, promised before to extend the barrier to the border with Romania if people start arriving from there.

Lying to the east of what was the main flow of the Balkan route, Romania registered three vessels with a total of 249 migrants in August and early September. 

Most of the 2,800 migrants detected in Romania in the first seven months of the year arrived by land from Bulgaria. That is five times more than during the corresponding period in 2016.

Countries on the main Balkan route closed their borders to migrants 18 months ago, after more than 1 million people passed toward western Europe.

 

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