The department of Foreign affairs, which is part of the Bosnian Ministry of Security, confirmed that since the beginning of 2017, the number of illegal immigrants into Bosnia and Herzegovina who were prevented from entering Croatia has increased by 350% in comparison with 2016.
According to the Total Croatia News, during the first nine months of 2017, more than 600 illegal immigrants were detected and detained. During the past few days, about 40 cases were uncovered and arrested, reported the source.
Three people have been arrested inside Bosnia and Herzegovina after suspicion that they have been organizing the smuggling of illegal immigrants to Croatia. The report said that their arrest was the result of a major police operation conducted several days ago.
The source also reported that Assistant Minister at the Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees of Bosnia and Herzegovina Saliha Duderija told reporters in Sarajevo that she was not sure for how long the migration crisis could be contained. She also underscored the fact that thousands of migrants were stuck along what is called the Balkan-Route that should have led them to the European Union.
The Bosnian Ministry of Security did not give reasons for the increase. But state border police said that migrants blocked by toughened controls in neighbouring Serbia were trying alternate routes.
The migrants, who mostly come from Algeria, Afghanistan, Libya, Pakistan, Morocco but also from Turkey and Albania, will be deported either to their native countries or the countries where they arrived from, the agency said.
Illegal migrants have in the past entered the country from Serbia and Montenegro, paying hefty prices to human smugglers, and tried to get into EU member state Croatia.
Impoverished Bosnia did not see the record numbers of migrants that crossed into other EU states in 2015, most of them fleeing conflicts in Syria and Iraq.