Bulgaria detains 24 illegal immigrants

Bulgarian border police have detained 24 illegal immigrants and a 59-year-old trafficker after they entered the country from Greece, the Ministry of Interior said in a statement on Wednesday.

The group was arrested on Monday at 10 p.m. local time near the village of Mezek, some 290 km southeast of Sofia, the statement said.

Without any identity documents, the foreigners, all men, claimed they are citizens of Afghanistan.

The trafficker was a resident of the neighboring town of Lyubimets, and he was arrested for such a crime in 2018, the statement added.

The investigation is ongoing.

Bulgaria is located on a migrant route to Central and Western Europe. According to official data, Bulgarian authorities arrested 689 immigrants who tried to illegally enter the country last year, 293 of them at the border with Greece.