Serbia Busts Trafficking Network, Captures Nearly 1,000 Migrants

A human smuggling network operating in Serbia was smashed and nearly 1,000 illegal migrants were apprehended this week, according to reports.

Serbian authorities arrested seven suspected traffickers during a nationwide campaign on Wednesday.

At least 991 migrants were taken into custody and placed into reception centers during the crackdown, codenamed 'Hotspot.'

"The interior ministry reported that the operation centered on the capital, Belgrade, as well as the cities of Subotica, Sombor, Kikinda, Sabac, Kraljevo, Vranje, and Novi Pazar," ANSA reports.

Police were reportedly joined in Belgrade by Interior Minister Aleksandar Vulin who said Serbian citizens should not be subjected to the dangers posed by human smugglers and illegal aliens.

"Serbia will not be a parking lot for migrants," Vulin said.

Serbia and neighboring Balkan nations have been plagued by illegal migration, particularly in recent years, as a steady stream of aliens hailing mostly from the Middle East and Africa have passed through on their way to the European Union.

Last year, Hungary doubled the number of soldiers deployed to defend its borders, with officials warning over 100,000 migrants had gathered on the Balkan Peninsula at the time.

The bust comes as a growing crisis along the Poland–Belarus border has exploded in recent days, with thousands of migrants camped out along the frontier and thousands more making their way to the region.


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