Evros in the “red”: Group of 80 people, criminal networks and Turkish “escorts”

Executives of EL.AS. note that “we are going through one of the most difficult summers in recent years”

The border guard forces on the Evros are working in the “red”, as the slave traffickers’ networks are “suffocating” through mass routes that they organize throughout the 24 hours.

Executives of EL.AS. note that “we are going through one of the most difficult summers in recent years”, specifically reporting to Newsbomb.gr that only in the first three weeks of August, 70 migrant traffickers were arrested.

The Turkish gendarmerie, as they say, sees the smugglers and either “looks away” or “pushes” them towards the border. In many cases, as noted by reliable Police sources, groups of Greek border guards, consisting of two or three men, find themselves face to face with groups of 50, 70 or even 80 people. It is the first time in a long time that so many crowded groups have appeared with such frequency.

The recent statement by the Minister of Citizen Protection, Takis Theodorikakos, is typical that “within a 24-hour period, and mostly at night, 1,500 migrants tried to enter Greece from Evros alone”.

Border guards are on the front lines trying to stop the traffickers, who start the challenges when they understand that their “job” will not be easy. Executives of EL.AS. with experience in crisis management note that “Turkey’s instrumentalization of migration is once again visible (especially from the beginning of July onwards) and the Greek side will increase the level of preparedness depending on the conditions”.

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Last week the KYSEA decided – during an emergency meeting – to take additional measures to shield the borders. Among them are extending the fence, upgrading electronic surveillance and expediting procedures to reinforce staff.

One of those who is on the “front line” in Evros is the president of the Evros Border Guards, Chrysovalantis Gialamas, who, speaking to newsbomb, describes the situation:

“It is one of the most difficult summers for us. The ‘cannula’ from the ‘neighboring’ country has been opened. We are killing to be able to hold back the flows. Those of us at the border are working with all our might during this period. We’re really in the red and I reckon we’ll continue to be until winter comes and the river level rises.”

To the question if today’s scene in Evros reminds something of that of March 2020, he answers: “There are similarities. Because it is not a massive invasion, but a cannula that has been opened for good along the 160 kilometer border line of Evros. In the places where the fence is located the flows are negligible, however, in the rest of the stretch small and large groups enter Greek territory without even needing a boat to cross the river. You understand how difficult our work is and also consider that we also have to protect the mountain mass on the Bulgarian side, where we have flows at this time.”

Regarding the role of the Turkish gendarmerie, he notes: “We see every day the incitement and assistance of the Turkish forces to criminal networks of traffickers. When they cannot enter our country illegally because we are where we should be and we ‘spoil’ their passage, they start the provocations. We are cool, they show patience but also determination where needed. I tell you again that in this period we have surpassed ourselves and are giving our lives to protect our borders”.

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