Mon. Dec 11th, 2023
Border Guards Stop Attempted Illegal Migration at the Lithuanian Border

On Friday morning, the border guards of the Lithuanian State Border Guard Service (VSAT) stationed at the Kalvarija border post in Varėna district were conducting patrols on the road from Marijampolė to Suwałki, near the village of Salaperaugis. This road leads directly to Poland.

During their patrol, the border guards inspected the documents of a Latvian-registered car, an “Opel Meriva,” leaving Lithuania. The vehicle was driven by a 22-year-old Latvian citizen, accompanied by a 20-year-old passenger.

Although the documents of both Latvian individuals were in order, the border guards noticed three passengers in the car. They further discovered another person hiding in the trunk, among various items and disguised with clothing. The passengers claimed to be citizens of Sudan and Tajikistan, aged 23, 25, 20, and 21, respectively. It was revealed that they had entered Lithuania illegally from Belarus and had arrived in Latvia before attempting to reach Western Europe through Lithuania.

On Sunday evening, the same border guards stopped a “Mercedes-Benz Vito” with Estonian registration plates leaving for Poland. The 34-year-old driver presented the border guards with an Estonian citizen’s identification document. Upon inspection, it was found that the four passengers conveniently situated in the vehicle were Iranian citizens, two men aged 21 and 29, and two women aged 18 and 21. They presented asylum seeker documents from Latvia. It was determined that they had illegally crossed the border from Belarus and had sought asylum in Latvia. While their asylum applications were being processed, foreign nationals are not allowed to leave the country.

The VSAT border guards did not allow the drivers and passengers of both vehicles to continue their journey. They apprehended the Latvian and Estonian citizens for transporting migrants and brought them for questioning to the Kalvarija border post.

According to the information provided by the drivers, they were each promised €1,000 for transporting individuals from Latvia to Poland.

As a result of these illegal migration attempts, the VSAT border guards at the Varėna border post have initiated two pre-trial investigations, overseen by prosecutors from the 2nd Criminal Prosecution Department of the Kaunas Regional Prosecutor’s Office. The offenders can face up to 8 years of imprisonment.

The detained migrants have been temporarily housed in a VSAT facility and will be transferred to Latvian border guards in the near future. Latvian citizens have been ordered to be held in custody for three months, while the fate of the Estonian citizen will be determined on Tuesday.

The vehicles used for transporting the illegal migrants are now secured at the Kalvarija border post.