People Smuggling Tunnels Found By Police

People Smuggling Tunnels Found By Police

Hungarian police recently discovered two tunnels used to smuggle migrants into Hungary from Serbia. The tunnels were found at the same time that Hungarian police reported a five-fold increase in the number of migrants attempting to enter Hungary.

On November 29, Hungarian police detained 44 migrants who were found walking along a highway near Ásotthalom, a village in southern Hungary. Police later learned that the migrants had crossed into Hungary from Serbia by crawling through a 34-meter (112-foot) hand-dug tunnel under the anti-migration fence along the border.

A second tunnel was found in the village of Csikéria, around 40 km from Ásotthalom. That tunnel was 21.7 meters (70 feet) long. No migrants were found there. Police are now using drones to search for other possible tunnels.

On December 1, Szilárd Németh, a senior official at the Defense Ministry, warned that current conditions in Hungary were ripe for a repeat of the migration crisis in 2015 and that the country is now in a "state of crisis." Németh said that more than 100,000 migrants are now gathered in the Western Balkans and although "the situation is still under control," it is "beginning to look like the big crisis in 2015." He added that if the migrants are "let loose" on the Hungarian border, "there could be big trouble, and we must prepare for that possibility."

Hungary is not alone: Border authorities in countries across the European Union are struggling to stanch renewed flows of illegal migration. More than 126,500 migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East illegally entered the EU during 2019, according to the International Organization for Migration.