FOLLOWING an exchange of fire with Slovak police, an armed human trafficker from Ukraine died on August 2 near the Ukrainian border.

A member of the border guard shot dead a man who was in the act of smuggling five Vietnamese migrants between the villages of Nová Sedlica and Zboj in the district of Snina.

Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák said this particular smuggler was known to be very dangerous and aggressive, and the border police had been searching for him ever since he fired shots at police officers last year. The minister said that the man did not respond to police appeals and warning shots, the TASR newswire reported.

“The loss of life is something which cannot make us happy, but in this case the incident could not be avoided,” Kaliňák said, as quoted by TA3 private broadcaster.

Slovak authorities will return all detained Vietnamese migrants back to Ukraine following the EU Return Directive, saying that illegal immigrants should be sent back to their home country or to the country from which they travelled into the EU, according to the Pravda daily.

The current situation in Ukraine has not resulted in an increase in the number of people trafficked through the Slovak-Ukraine border so far, but smugglers are more aggressive and better armed, Kaliňák said, as quoted by TASR. He added that this incident confirms that intensifying security measures there was a good decision.

“I think that [the Slovak-Ukraine border] is the most secured one from all borders with Ukraine for sure,” Kaliňák said, as quoted by TA3. “It is not just our opinion, it also last year’s evaluation of European Commission.”

Compiled by Spectator staff from press reports
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