On Sunday, October 31, German police stopped 23 migrants at the Polish-German border. They also detained two suspected people smugglers.
The group of Iraqi migrants were found inside a van not far from the Polish-German border. According to the German press agency dpa, there were also children in the group. The regional German broadcaster in Saxony, MDR, reported that the van was stopped on the B115 road. It said a police spokesperson told them that 22 of the Iraqis were between 22 and 31 years of age and there was a 9-year-old child present.
The two men arrested on suspicion of people smuggling were from Syria, reported the news agency Associated Press (AP). MDR wrote these two suspects were both 22-years-old and their vehicle was also seized by police.
The van in which the group were traveling was stopped for what were reported as "routine checks" by police not far from the German town of Goerlitz. The two suspected people smugglers, who were driving the van, initially fled but were later stopped by police.
Checks on vans in this area of Germany have increased recently after more and more migrants coming from Belarus via Poland have started to arrive in Germany. Also on Sunday, another 15 migrants were discovered in a vehicle by Ebersbach, reported MDR, the origin of these migrants was "still unclear," the state broadcaster reported on Sunday, October 31.
Last week, German police discovered the body of one dead Iraqi man inside a truck after they watched 30 others descend from the van, also near Goerlitz.
On the run
In that case, AP reports, the 42-year-old driver of that vehicle is still being sought. In the last month or so, police officers in Germany report stopping more and more migrants traveling over the open borders from Poland. AP say sometimes they have picked up "several hundred people a day."
The majority of the migrants arriving in Germany over this border, reports AP, are from Iraq and Syria. Many of them are thought to have flown to Belarus and then crossed into Poland before continuing to Germany where they hope to ask for asylum.
Dpa reported that in October, "almost 5,000 people were stopped while crossing the border from Poland into Germany."
According to MDR, reception facilities in Saxony are now about 80% full and the authorities have promised the creation of additional places soon, although exactly when that might happen has not yet been decided.
With dpa, AP, MDR