Over 4,300 illegal immigrants detained in Poland over 3 months

Marcin Onufryjuk/PAP

Polish police have detained over 4,300 illegal immigrants across the country since August 2021, a spokesman for the Police Headquarters has told PAP.

Poland has been struggling to stem the flow of Middle Eastern and African migrants crossing into Poland from Belarus. The Polish government says they have been invited to Belarus by Alexander Lukashenko, the country's president, allegedly under the promise they will be able to live in the EU.

Inspector Mariusz Ciarka said that over the last three months, in the northeastern region of Podlasie near the border with Belarus and Lithuania, the police have detained 231 couriers who were caught transporting over a thousand people trying to illegally cross the border.

He added that the couriers usually have German or Swedish identity documents, smuggle people only for profit, charging fees of over a thousand euros or dollars for each migrant.

"In our opinion, we are dealing with organised crime focused only on profit and the couriers driving vehicles... are very often under the influence of drugs or have drugs on them... and there have been situations where they did not have a driving licence," Ciarka said.

He added that the Polish police primarily helps Polish border guards but there are also over 50 Polish police officers who protect the inviolability of the EU borders between Lithuania and Belarus.