Although the whole world is focused on the war between Russia and Ukraine, the threat of illegal migration has not gone away and has even increased, the Parliamentary Secretary of State of the Interior Ministry said in Budapest on Tuesday. Bence Rétvári, bidding farewell to the members of the 77th Hungarian police contingent on their way to North Macedonia, stressed that security is important for all Hungarians who have repeatedly stated that they see illegal migration as a threat.
The Secretary of State also listed the figures, saying that 178,000 illegal border crossings had been prevented at Hungary’s southern border so far this year. In comparison, this figure was 73,000 in the first nine months of last year and 122,000 for the whole year.
Bence Rétvári pointed out that the number of human smugglers has also increased dramatically, with 1,350 smugglers caught this year, compared to 1,277 in the whole of last year. He said that
more than ten percent of prison inmates were being held for smuggling-related offenses, which placed a disproportionate burden on the prison service and Hungary.
The politician also said that human smugglers see a threat in the setting up of the border hunter regiment, which is why they have tried to infiltrate it. Earlier, he told Hungarian public television M1 that smugglers had persuaded some members of their own mafia organization to apply for the recently launched border fighter training. “However, the National Protective Service filtered out these people, so they could not even start the training,” Bence Rétvári said.
At the farewell ceremony of the contingent, the Secretary of State said that the above-mentioned figures justify taking steps to stop illegal migration not only at the Hungarian border, but also on the Balkan route of illegal migration in North Macedonia.
The 16,000 people caught at the Macedonian border certainly did not reach the Hungarian border, he said, noting that Hungary had so far sent 2,185 police officers to the Macedonian border to stop illegal migration.
Hungary set up a border hunter regiment in the summer, with 500 border fighters already having taken the oath after training, and another 175 have started training.
Featured photo via MTI/Lakatos Péter