PM: Croatia has recently arrested 1,000 migrant smugglers

Croatia has recently arrested more than a thousand traffickers of illegal migrants, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Thursday. He is traveling to Sarajevo this afternoon and wants BiH to sign an agreement with Frontex to help protect its borders.

“I will mention that Croatia has recently arrested over a thousand smugglers,” Plenković said.

“So, on our part, we are doing a good job here,” Plenković said at a press conference ahead of a decision by Slovenia and Italy to restore control on their borders.

The prime minister said that these decisions are not related to illegal migration, but are introduced solely because of the security threat of terrorism after the Hamas attack on Israel and the terrorist attacks in Belgium and France.

With its 6,700 border police officers, Croatia “does a lot, maybe more than other” countries, and closely cooperates with the police of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovenia.

Strengthening this cooperation will be a topic of Plenković’s visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina, where he intends to see “at what stage is the process” of starting the country’s cooperation with Frontex, the European border and coast guard agency.

“The position of Croatia and Slovenia is common, for Frontex to conclude an agreement with BiH and to help its institutions in border protection,” said the prime minister.

He stressed that smuggling networks are highly organized and have become “large lucrative businesses”.