Tuesday, February 12, 2008


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (February 12,2008) – Illegal migration to Bosnia is decreasing, despite the fact that more and more goods and people cross the country's borders each day, according to the Bosnian Border Police’s 2007 Annual Report.

Important results were achieved regarding the discovery and prosecution of goods and drug smuggling, said Vinko Dumancic, the Director of the Bosnian Border Police, when presenting the report to the press.

"The number of uncovered cases of people smuggling has increased by 43.10 percent,” he announced. “We got 19.5 percent more reports on these crimes and 41.8 percent more persons were reported than in 2006.”

“We achievedcontinuous progress in our work throughout 2007, particularly in monitoring and controlling BiH border crossing points and airports,” he went on.

In 2007, more foreigners crossed the border from ‘high migration risk’ countries. Citizens of Serbia with UNMIK passports, as well as people from Albania, Turkey and Macedonia represent more than 96 percent of the total number of deported foreign citizens. In 73 percent of these cases, they were illegally residing in Bosnia.

The Border Police also fight crime internally: 15 police officers were suspended in 2007 - two of them after internal control investigations and 13 as a result of investigations carried out by the Bosnian Prosecutor's Office.

Besides, the BosnianmBorder Police face some other challenges, such as lack of funding to hire new qualified staff and buy specialised communications and visual monitoring equipment. Poor working conditions, run-down facilities at some border crossings and low salaries make border police officers’ work particularly difficult.

Although Dumancic said that his cooperation with border police institutions from neighbouring countries has increased since last year, he stressed that there are pressing open border issues with neighbouring countries that still need to be resolved.

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