In a statement released by the Hungarian government, Hungarian chief security adviser György Bakondy said his country's authorities arrested 1,924 smugglers in 2022, up from 1,277 in 2021.
The number of smugglers held in Hungarian prisons is 2,500. They are citizens of 73 different countries. Bakondi emphasized that in 2022 they cost the federal budget an additional three billion forints.
“Border protection duties were carried out by 500 armed guards and 13,476 civil guards. On the Serbian border they were assisted by 237 Czech, 70 Austrian, 50 Turkish and 39 Slovak policemen, — he noted in this regard. Last year, border security cost a total of 650 billion forints or 1.63 billion euros.
It is noted that in 2022, 265 cases of violent attacks by migrants on Hungarian patrolmen along the Serbian border were recorded, as a result of which 29 military personnel and 12 policemen were injured.
According to Bakondi, the number of illegal entries is growing, and Hungary remains the main route for illegal immigrants from the Balkans. These immigrants come mainly from Afghanistan, Syria, Pakistan, Morocco and India.
In eight months of last year, a total of 145,000 illegal entries were registered at the country's border. Compared to the same period in 2021, their number increased by 57,000. The number of arrested smugglers also doubled to almost 1,000 people.
Later in October, Hungarian authorities arrested a total of 215,000 people for illegally crossing borders of Hungary.
In total, 1 500 cases against illegal immigrants were initiated last year.
Experts note that the current situation is similar to the migration crisis of 2015, when a large number of immigrants arrived in Hungary along Western Balkan route.