Illegal immigrants from Vietnam and Chechens suspected of their smuggling have been detained during a week-long operation near the Lithuanian-Latvian border, according to the Lithuanian State Border Guard Service.
State Border Guard Service
© DELFI (P.Garkausko nuotr.)

Based on intelligence information they had, SBGS officers, assisted by officers from the police, customs and the Public Security Service, stopped random vehicle on the Lithuanian-Latvian border this week. Latvian border guards also took similar measures in the territory of Latvia.

On Friday night, a BMW 530 and Skoda Octavia were stopped in the Lithuanian northern District of Zarasai soon after entering Lithuania from Latvia. Both vehicles had Austrian plates and were driven by Chechen men, 31 and 41, who both had Austrian residence documents.

Eight Vietnamese citizens were found inside the cars and a fifth Vietnamese was found in the trunk of the Skoda. They did not have Schengen visas and were later handed over to Latvian border guards.

The Chechens were detained for human smuggling and are facing up to six years in prison in Lithuania. A Lithuanian court sanctioned their arrest for two months.

Figures from the SBGS show that 68 pre-trial investigations into human smuggling were launched in Lithuania since the start of 2014 until January 2015. Lithuanian border guards have detained 17 Latvian citizens this year for smuggling or accompanying illegal immigrants in Lithuania.

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