Migrant smuggling set to surge as virus lockdown eases: Europol
The Hague: The EU's policing agency warned Friday that the easing of coronavirus measures may trigger a surge in illegal migration towards Europe's borders.
Europol said in its latest report that illegal migration slowed down during the COVID-19 lockdown, but was bound to shoot up once restrictions are lifted.
"A loosening of travel and movement restrictions is likely to result in an increasing movement of irregular migrants… as they have been largely unable to make movements during the lockdown," Europol said.
"Prolonged economic instability and the sustained lack of opportunities in some African economies may trigger another wave of irregular migration towards the EU in the mid-term," the Hague-based agency warned.
Because air travel has virtually stopped over the past two months and border controls were tightened, people smugglers also shifted their ways to get illegal migrants into the continent. - AFP