Over 1,400 people were caught entering or having entered the country illegally last year, the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) reported on Tuesday, which is in an increase of approximately 300 people compared to 2018.
In total 1,410 people were intercepted by the PPA in 2019.
PPA Director General Elmar Vaher said 1,022, were caught at border crossing points, 27 people were caught between border crossing points, and 361 people were already within the country.
The majority of people caught by the PPA, 43 percent, were citizens of Ukraine, 19 percent were Russian nationals, 8 percent came from Moldova, 6 percent were Belarusian nationals and 3 percent citizens of Georgia.
Vaher said that most of the notices to leave were issued for being in Estonia illegally and the increase is related to the increased labor migration pressure.
In 2018, the Police and Border Guard Board intercepted 1,110 people. Of those 732 were caught at border crossing points, 45 between border crossing points, and 333 already within the country.
The number of people caught entering the country illegally has increased noticeably in recent years. For example, in 2015 in total 552 people were caught entering the country illegally.
Editor: Helen Wright