Riga Airport Records Surge in Illegal Departure Attempts


In recent months, the Latvian State Border Guard has reported an increased number of third-country nationals who have tried to use Rigaโ€™s Airport for illegal departures.

Regarding this issue, 26 asylum seekers have been apprehended at the border inspection post of the airport while trying to travel to other EU countries using false or someone elseโ€™s documents, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

The detained individuals were headed mainly to France, Germany, and the Netherlands,ย  as reported by theย  Latvian Public Broadcaster.

In addition, several asylum seekers were identified at the Schengen terminal in Latvia, attempting to leave only with asylum seekersโ€™ documents.

According to the State Border Guard of Latvia, many third-country nationals entering the country illegally or seeking asylum after crossing the Latvian-Belarusian State border, either for humanitarian reasons, are not planning to stay in the long term.

They further explained that these individuals used Latvia as a transit country to go to other Member States countries. Their data shows 39 asylum seekers of third-countries origin have left asylum centres. Last year, Latvian authorities recorded 1,529 such cases.

To prevent illegal state border crossings, border guards will increase passenger profiling at the Schengen terminal in Riga airport and the sea ports of Riga and Ventspils, even though border checks are not conducted at internal borders. Additionally, authorities will implement immigration control measures near internal borders.

On January 17, the Border Guard reported identifying 21 individuals violating borders, both externally and within the country. Specifically, they detected nine trespassers at the external borders, with entry into Latvia refused for two of them.

At the Terehova and the Pฤternieki Border Control Points, one citizen of Lithuania and one โ€“ of Belarus were banned from entry into the Republic of Latvia due to security reasons. The persons were returned to the countries of departure.

The Latvian State Border Guard

Meanwhile, the third persona, a citizen of Kyrgyzstan lacking a valid visa or residence permit, was identified at the Terehova Border Control Point. As authorities noted, he faced administrative liability.

During controls within the country, authorities identified one Russian citizen and one Estonian for entry or residence condition violations.

This year, State Border Fuard stopped five individuals from crossing the state border illegally.

Recently, Latvian authorities have taken several measures related to illegal immigration. Last week, they started sending letters to Russians who didnโ€™t meet residency requirements, asking them to leave the country.

Last month, Latvia, along with Estonia and Lithuania, announced the possibility of closing their borders with Russia amid fears of a potential migrant surge.


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