Thu, 08 Dec 2022

PRAGUE, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) -- The Czech Republic said on Tuesday it will reintroduce border controls along the frontier with Slovakia starting this week.

Border controls will be reintroduced at 27 former border checkpoints along the border with Slovakia for at least 10 days from Sept. 29 till Oct. 8, the Czech Ministry of the Interior said in a statement.

It said the measure will come into force from midnight Wednesday through Thursday.

According to the ministry, the purpose of the government-mandated border checks is to crack down on illegal migration and organized smuggling groups.

It said that illegal migration has increased annually and that, since the beginning of this year, police have detained about 11,000 illegal border crossers.

"We are telling smugglers that illegally crossing the Czech-Slovak border is out of the question. That is why we are temporarily re-introducing controls at the border with Slovakia. I assure you that we will not tolerate organized crime," Minister of the Interior Vit Rakusan said in a statement.

Last month, the Czech Republic implemented a two-day border control exercise on the Slovak border after unfavorable official illegal migration statistics were published by the Ministry of the Interior.

According to official statistics, most migrants coming to the Czech Republic use the country as a transit route to access other European Union (EU) countries, particularly Germany. Most of them are of Syrian origin.

Slovakia said Tuesday that it respects Czech Republic's decision to introduce checks at the border, but wants the issue to be discussed at the EU level as the decision will affect other European countries, the Czech News Agency reported.

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