Two Estonians arrested in Latvia for human trafficking
Latvian authorities have arrested two Estonian citizens who were trying to smuggle three illegal immigrants to Latvia.
The immigrants from Vietnam were hidden in a secret compartment in a Volkswagen Transporter driven by the arrested Estonians.
A police dog later found another group of Vietnamese immigrants in the forest near the Pededze river. They too had illegally entered Latvia from Russia.
Over the last two months, Latvian police has intercepted five attempts by Vietnam citizens to illegally enter Latvian territory.
In less than 11 months, Latvian authorities have charged 121 people - including 84 Vietnamese, 12 Afghans and 11 Iraqis - with illegally crossing the border.
Estonia border guards too have detained a few people suspected of human trafficking. In 2013, Estonian border guards captured 56 immigrants from Vietnam, who were being illegally smuggled to Estonia across the Russian border.
Back then, Ago Tikk of the Estonian Police and Border Guard (PPA) estimated the actual number of Vietnamese immigrants who are trafficked to Europe through Estonia to number around a couple of hundred per year.