Hungarian police say they have discovered at least 16 tunnels used by people traffickers to smuggle migrants across the border from neighbouring Serbia.
The small tunnels, which are around a hundred feet long, are located near the village of Csikeria and the town of Morahalom. The discovery of the tunnels is said to have occurred after police managed to capture 26 illegal migrants from Afghanistan and Syria near the border.
According to a report from Italian newspaper Il Giornale, the people traffickers charge migrants as much as €3,500 to get into Hungary, and therefore into the European Union.
The tunnels have become the favoured way of sneaking into Hungary as the nation’s border fence has drastically reduced the number of migrants entering the country since it was built in late 2015.
Hungary Working ‘Around the Clock’ to Stop Illegal Migrant Tunnels Under Border Fence https://t.co/UpgiWCIYRg
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 19, 2020
Csongràd County police spokeswoman Szilvia Szab told local media that the tunnels were hidden under brush and that new activity showed that smugglers were ramping up their business after the Wuhan coronavirus lockdowns.
In August, Hungarian authorities first alerted the public over the development of tunnels along the border. They said that 2020 has seen at least 18,000 migrants attempt to cross into the country, the highest number since the height of the migrant crisis in 2015.
Hungary saw large numbers of migrants in January gather at the border at Röszke and demand to be let in. The Hungarian government later released footage of a group of between 50 and 70 migrants attempting to storm the border crossing.
While Hungary has managed to reduce significantly illegal immigration over the past several years, it was dealt a blow in July when the European Court of Justice ruled that Hungary could not keep migrants in so-called transit zones on the border.