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Hungary is setting up its new border ranger units because it is seeing more and more people smugglers at its borders who are becoming increasingly aggressive, a state secretary of the interior ministry said on Friday.
Altogether 10% of Hungary’s 19,000 prison inmates, or some 2,000 people, are foreign people smugglers, Bence Rétvári told public current affairs channel M1, adding that their share was over 20% in the prison in Szeged, in southern Hungary. Because the handling of people smugglers — most of whom are Bulgarian, Serbian, Macedonian and Middle Eastern — requires the authorities to perform a range of additional administrative tasks, they cost the budget an extra 4 billion forints (EUR 10.1m) a month, Rétvári said. Illegal migration into Hungary has not slowed despite the war in Ukraine, the state secretary said, adding that more and more people smugglers were reaching the country and becoming increasingly aggressive. So far this year, a total of 133,000 illegal migrants have tried to enter Hungary, compared with 122,000 all of last year, he said. The authorities have apprehended 999 people smugglers so far this year, as against 600 by mid-summer 2015 during the first large migration wave, he added.