Finland opens investigations after migrants from Belarus arrive via Estonia

West Terminal 2 at West Harbour, Helsinki.
West Terminal 2 at West Harbour, Helsinki. Source: Port of Helsinki.

The Finnish Coast Guard has launched seven criminal investigations after migrants who crossed the Belarusian border were found in Finland. Some had arrived on ferries from Estonia.

Newspaper Ilta-Sanomat reported on Thursday that some of the migrants had arrived on passenger ferries and were hidden in the trunks of cars. The investigations, opened in September, are still in the initial stages.

"We are investigating the activities of about a dozen people. We will specify this in the further course of the investigation," said Jukka Tekokoski, an official at the border guard. 

He said the Finns are cooperating with the other Baltic states. 

Several asylum applications have also been submitted.

The Finnish Immigration Service told ERR News on Thursday: "As of now, there have been under 10 asylum seekers who have applied for asylum in Finland after crossing the Belarusian border into Europe."

In recent months, thousands of migrants have attempted to cross the Belarusian border into Poland, Lithuania and Latvia. The migrants have most come from Iraq.

Officials say the Minsk regime is responsible for facilitating and enabling irregular migration, calling it "hybrid aggression" against Poland, Lithuania and Latvia.

It was expected that some people would try to travel north to Scandinavia, via Estonia, and border checks have been carried out at the Port of Tallinn and on international buses.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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