Bulgarian police arrest four over eighteen dead migrants in abandoned truck
Monday, February 20, 2023
Authorities made four arrests and transported 34 people to hospital, including five children, some in critical, but stable, condition. It is believed to be the country's deadliest incident involving migrants to date, with those alive "freezing, wet, [and] have not eaten for several days."
The truck was carrying timber with migrants in concealed compartments, according to the.
Health minister Asen Medzhidiev told reporters: "There has been a lack of oxygen to those who were locked in this truck"; according to head of theBorislav Sarafov, some had suffocated.
Police believe the migrants were from Afghanistan and were being transported to Serbia through a route used by Middle Eastern migrants to reach the European Union. Sarafov said the migrants had illegally entered Bulgaria through Turkey and, after two days in the woods, entered the truck near .
One of the arrestees had already been sentenced for human trafficking; official Atanas Ilkov told Reuters charges were pending further evidence.
In December, Austria and The Netherlands blocked Bulgaria's accession to the passport-free over a rise in asylum-seekers entering through the Western Balkans and concerns the government was not addressing crime, respectively.
The Ministry of Interior reported over 12,740 migrants were detained in Bulgaria in the first nine months of 2022, and attempted border crossings from January through August doubled to 80,000 from 2021 figures.
- George Wright. "Bulgarian police find 18 people dead in abandoned truck" — , February 17, 2023
- "Bulgarian police find 18 Afghan migrants dead in abandoned truck" — , February 17, 2023
- Jorge Liboreiro, Vincenzo Genovese. "Austria blocks Schengen accession of Romania and Bulgaria, while Croatia gets green light" — , December 12, 2022
- "Bulgarian policeman shot dead patrolling Turkish border for migrants" — , November 8, 2022
- "Migratory routes" — , February 19, 2023 (date accessed)