The number of undocumented migrants apprehended at Italy's border with Slovenia in 2018 has more than tripled compared to the previous year, according to police officials.
Border police in the north-eastern Italian city of Trieste apprehended a total of 1,494 undocumented migrants at the border with Slovenia in 2018. They included 300 people who were immediately sent back to the neighboring country, police said.
According to data released by the local police force, the number of irregular migrants stopped at the border has more than tripled while the number of people arrested on suspicion of aiding and abetting illegal immigration has doubled with 29 suspects arrested in 2018.
Peak of arrivals between July and October
Police said that more undocumented migrants were apprehended thanks to tighter security at the border since April 2018.
Since May 2018, the number of undocumented migrants who reached Italy through the "Balkan route" peaked between July and October, local police said. Migrants who used the Balkan route are mainly from Pakistan and Afghanistan, followed by Algeria, Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq, India, Morocco, Syria and Turkey.
Over 55,000 people checked
Overall, border police in Trieste controlled a total of 55,276 people in 2018 and checked 17,604 vehicles, deploying 3,975 patrols. In total, 95 people were arrested, including 29 who were accused of aiding and abetting illegal immigration.