20 Vietnamese detained for trying to enter Poland illegally
If convicted, the alleged trafficker faces imprisonment for up to eight years
A group of 20 Vietnamese nationals were detained by customs officers and border guards in Budzisko, Gmina Szypliszki in northeastern Poland as they tried to enter the country illegally earlier this month.
A 51-year-old driver who is a permanent Estonian resident was arrested for trying to smuggle the migrants in his truck from Lithuania to Poland, according to a statement on the website of Visegrad Group, which is a cultural and political alliance for the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.
The driver will face charges of assisting and organizing an illegal border crossing operation and can be jailed for up to eight years, said Major Katarzyna Zdanowicz, the spokesperson for the Podlaskie Border Guard Regional Unit.
Immigrants who attempt to enter Poland illegally are often held in detention before being deported. Many of the illegals, who reportedly pay traffickers up to US$15,000, are attracted by the possibility of working in restaurants and markets in the European country.
According to a previous report of Radio Free Asia, conditions in Polish detention are essentially fair. The detained are given three meals a day, as well as telephone and internet access.
However, those caught in other countries while on the way to Poland might not be so fortunate. One unnamed migrant, who was caught in Belarus and held in a detention center for one-and-a-half months, said meals provided were like dog food.