Estonia sees surge in African illegal migrants

24th August 2011, Comments 0 comments

The Baltic EU state of Estonia has seen a surge of illegal migrants from African states attempting to enter the Schengen visa-free zone via neighbouring Russia in recent months, officials said.

"Since February we have detained altogether 31 Africans who have tried to enter Estonia illegally from Russia," Estonian border guard spokesperson Valeri Kiviselg told AFP -- compared to one last year.

"All were using false documents like fake permits to stay in Estonia," he added.

Eleven migrants from Congo and Cameroon who crossed the EU border illegally at Narva, an Estonian town bordering Russia, are seeking political asylum in Estonia while 15 other Africans have been sent back to Russia.

© 2011 AFP

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