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More attempts to illegally cross border due to 2018 Football World Cup

At the Russian border.
At the Russian border. Source: (PPA)

Russia has warned Estonia as well as other neighbouring countries that there is a number of people who are trying to enter the Schengen area disguised as football fans. According to the Police and Border Guard Board, there have been 160 attempts in June and July, a good 130 of which the Russian border guard caught and turned around.

The Police and Border Guard's Aimar Köss told ERR's "Aktuaalne kaamera" newscast on Saturday that of the 160 cases registered over the last two months, 130 were dealt with by the Russian border guard. According to Köss, the Russian authorities are talking about tens of thousands of people who might try to illegally cross the border disguised as football fans.

Of the people detained by the Estonian authorities, most were stopped because of insufficient or invalid documents, and most were caught at the Narva border crossing point.

There have been attempts as well to cross the green border. Eight individuals stopped in Võru County on Friday likely fall into this group, Köss said.

They had obtained ID cards entitling them to attend the 2018 Football World Cup as members of the audience, he explained. Russia issues the ID card for football fans who have tickets to games, the card entitles them to repeated exit and entry until the scheme expires on 25 July this year.

With the group stage over and the world cup headed for the semifinals, the number of people who attended games and are now leaving Russia is increasing, and with it the chance as well that there might be more attempts at illegally crossing the Russian-Estonian border.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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