Still from a video shot from a drone shows officers of the Specialised Unit for State Border Control apprehending a group of migrants outside of Ljubljana on 29 May 2020 | Source: Screenshot from the Interior Ministry of the Republic of Slovenia
Still from a video shot from a drone shows officers of the Specialised Unit for State Border Control apprehending a group of migrants outside of Ljubljana on 29 May 2020 | Source: Screenshot from the Interior Ministry of the Republic of Slovenia

The body of a migrant from Bangladesh has been found in Slovenia near the border with Croatia. Police say it is the first such death in this part of the border region.

Police in the town of Koper, on Slovenia's Adriatic coast, said that the dead body of a 31-year-old man was found on Saturday, December 4, in the Dragonja Valley, between the Dragonja and Sečovlje border crossings in southwest Slovenia.

The man's documents were found near his body. Police said that he was a Bangladeshi citizen and that the Embassy of Bangladesh had been informed.

An autopsy was ordered to determine the cause of the man's death, but initial information indicated that he died of hypothermia a day before he was found, a spokesperson from the Koper Police Department told InfoMigrants.

While deaths of migrants have been recorded in the past on the Croatia-Slovenia border, this was the first known fatality in this region of the Dragonja valley, the spokesperson said.

The fence erected in Slovenia, on the Croatian border. Here, between the villages of Kostel and Fara, 2019 | Photo: Dana Alboz/InfoMigrants
The fence erected in Slovenia, on the Croatian border. Here, between the villages of Kostel and Fara, 2019 | Photo: Dana Alboz/InfoMigrants

Border patrols

Slovenian police, supported by the army, are deployed along the 670-km border with Croatia. Border surveillance of irregular migrants is conducted with the help of mounted police, dogs and technical equipment such as drones, thermographic cameras and helicopters.

The interior ministry announced in 2020 that drones were increasingly being used to monitor the movements of migrants from above. "When migrants try to flee being apprehended, they run in several directions and drones make it easier for police officers to follow and apprehend them," the ministry said in an article published online in June, 2020.

Migrants usually "avoid populated areas and travel at night, using forest paths and remote terrain, while they spend the day resting in hidden-away locations," the ministry continued.

"Most of them use GPS navigation on smartphones in airplane mode, which prevents them being traced ... Illegal migrants very quickly adapt to police measures and frequently change both their routes and border crossing methods."

The police spokesperson in Koper confirmed that border patrols and surveillance have continued during the past 18 months.

A Slovenian police officer monitors the Italian border in the Koper region | Photo: Dana Alboz/ InfoMigrants
A Slovenian police officer monitors the Italian border in the Koper region | Photo: Dana Alboz/ InfoMigrants


Both Croatia and Slovenia are members of the European Union, but Croatia is outside the Schengen visa-free area.

There are thousands of migrants trapped in the Balkan states, unable to cross national borders to continue their journeys. Many are sleeping rough in cold winter weather.

With AP

 

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