At least 18 people have crossed into Finland so far this year, up from 16 unauthorised crossings during all of last year. In addition, the Russian border guard service has reportedly stopped at least 40 attempts to enter Finland from Russia.
“This is a new phenomenon that began this year. Especially men with an Afghan background have tried to get into Finland from Russia. On the basis of interrogations, organised smuggling of people into Finland seems to be involved,” says Lieutenant-Colonel Erkki Matilainen of the Finnish Border Guard.
Those being interrogated have suggested that there are helpers on the other side of the border who take care of matters related to crossing the border – even the equipment.
The Finnish Border Guard has intensified its surveillance of the border in response to the surge.