Migration pressure has grown significantly on the Hungarian-Serbian border after a lull in the spring due to the coronavirus epidemic.
Zsolt Halmosi, deputy head of the Hungarian police, said half of all migrants detained on the European Union’s external borders in recent months have been apprehended on the stretch separating Hungary and Serbia.
Halmosi said that this year, some 18,000 persons tried crossing the Serbian-Hungarian border illegally, and the number of people smugglers arrested this year has grown to 207, the highest since the 2015 migration crisis.
According to MTI, border patrols discovered 16 tunnels, complete or incomplete, under the border fence this year. In response, the authorities are reinforcing the fence’s outer perimeter and building a mesh barrier underground.
Halmosi noted that Hungary has closed its transit zones in compliance with the ruling of the European Court of Justice. The 330 migrants housed there had been transferred to open centers, he said, noting that “the majority did not wait for their asylum procedure to be concluded”. At present, only 16 migrants are still housed at the open facility, he said.