In two separate cases on Christmas Eve, eight Afghan and five Albanian nationals illegally entered Croatia in the Dubrovnik area. The police immediately launched the process of readmission and transferred the migrants to the police in Montenegro, the country from which they entered Croatia, reports 24sata.hr on December 27, 2016.
The police in Dubrovnik reported on Tuesday that eight Afghans illegally crossed the Croatian border on Saturday afternoon from Montenegro, somewhere near the village of Dubravka in Konavle region.
On the same day, five Albanian citizens entered Croatia near the Klek border crossing. They were previously, before the border crossing itself, brought in a vehicle by an Albanian, who then crossed the state border legally over the crossing, and the migrants re-boarded the vehicle after illegally crossing the border on foot.
The Dubrovnik-Neretva Police Department issued to these foreign nationals a ban on entry and stay in Croatia for a term of one or two years, and immediately initiated the process of readmission and turned them over to Montenegrin police.
The Albanian citizen who assisted them in illegally crossing the border has received a misdemeanour charge.
In a separate development, UNHCR on Tuesday announced that illegal deportations of migrants who try to reach Western Europe through the so-called Balkan route were on the rise.
About a thousand people from the Middle East, Asia and Africa “were expelled just in November along the Balkan route... which is more than before”, said a spokeswoman for UNHCR in Serbia Mirjana Milenkovska.
Hundreds of thousands of migrants have tried to use the Balkan route through Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia, Hungary and Slovenia to reach Western Europe from Greece, before it was closed down in March 2016.
Non-governmental human rights organizations and activists have warned that the number of legally registered migrants who have been “illegally deported” from Serbia to Bulgaria and Macedonia has increased.
In Serbia, there are currently around 7,000 migrants. Most of them are accommodated in 13 reception centres, while about a thousand of them sleep in outdoor areas in downtown Belgrade.