Illegal immigration suspect held in North Finland

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A Customs van patrols near the Finnish-Swedish border frontier. (Antti Heikinmatti / Yle)
A Customs van patrols near the Finnish-Swedish border frontier. (Antti Heikinmatti / Yle)
The Border Guard estimates that dozens of people have been illicitly brought into the country recently.

On Tuesday a Finn was detained on suspicion of arranging illegal immigration, and on Wednesday a Swede was sentenced for trying to smuggle a child into Finland.

A Finnish citizen has been taken into custody on suspicion of arranging illegal immigration. On Tuesday evening, a Border Guard patrol detained a man who had apparently brought four Iraqis into the northern town of Tornio.

The Border Guard says the group crossed on foot, apparently using a bridge over the river which separates Tornio from its Swedish twin town of Haparanda. Authorities have not released more details about the incident. The Iraqis were taken to the new asylum seekers’ processing centre which opened in Tornio on Tuesday.

Dozens illegally brought into country: police

Over the weekend other people were held in Tornio on similar suspicions. And in Helsinki on Tuesday, a suspected human smuggler was taken into custody for illegal entry alleged to have occurred in July.

Markku Kohonen, a senior officer at the Border Guard, estimates that dozens of people have been illicitly brought into the country recently. He points out that a Finn who helps undocumented asylum seekers to cross the border may face criminal charges.

Meanwhile in Austria, a Finnish citizen and an Iraqi resident of Finland face charges after they admitted driving a Finnish-registered truck packed with 42 migrants near the German border on September 13.

Child smuggler gets suspended sentence

On Wednesday, Vantaa District Court gave a Swedish man a suspended three-month sentence for trying to smuggle a child into Finland. He was also ordered to forfeit about 6,000 euros which he had earned. The man was detained in January at Helsinki Airport for attempting to bring a 10-year-old into the country from Sweden using a false passport.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Should Canada have a plan for climate refugees?, Radio Canada International

Finland:  North Finland town opens asylum seeker hub, Yle News

Norway:  Refugees find Arctic gate to Schengen, Barents Observer

Russia: Looking back at the 2010 Norway – Russia deal on Arctic borders, Barents Observer

 

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