Bulgaria Forces Greek Train Back Over Border on Suspicion of Refugee Smuggling

BULGARIA

Bulgarian authorities turned a Greek train back from the border due to suspicion that there were migrants being smuggled  on board. The incident took place on Saturday on the Promachonas – Kulata line, southwest of Bulgaria, report newspapers from Sofia.

Customs guards say they heard people’s voices coming from one of the carriages. As a result, they did not allow entry to the train and forced it to return to Greece though they did not investigate.

Bulgaria, following the closure of the “Balkan route,” is fortifying its borders with Greece and Turkey in the fear that refugee flows would occur if the agreement with the EU and Turkey falls through. Sofia’s officials are worried that a number of migrants and refugees would flow over from Thrace towards its borders.

Human trafficking is increasing from both Greece and Turkey. Over the last few days there is public debate over Ankara’s refusal to accept migrants and refugees arrested by Bulgarian authorities. This could be interpreted as a first reaction by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan following Germany’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide and is an indication of what might happen if the EU-Turkish deal falls through.