Romania beefs up border control to discourage migrants
Romanian border police officer Marius Stuparu is driving through pouring rain in an SUV, monitoring for any sign of migrants trying to enter the country from Serbia and Hungary.
While Hungary has erected razor-wire fences on its borders to try to keep out migrants, Romania is relying on manpower backed by technology for border control in a region stretching from Calafat in the southwest to further north in Beba Veche.
Border guards told The Associated Press this month they are using helicopters and boat patrols on the Danube River, heat-sensitive equipment, cameras on watch towers and devices used to detect heartbeats under trucks.
Stuparu is on the front line of this effort near the town of Beba Veche as he scans for migrants from Syria, Afghanistan and elsewhere.
“This is the point where all migrants want to cross ... but the Romanian border police is here and has succeeded to stop all their attempts until now,” he told the AP.
Romania, which has a 547-kilometre land and a river frontier with Serbia, has invested heavily in border control over the past year to prevent migrants illegally passing through the country on their way to Western Europe. Romania also has a long border with Hungary, but the only area of concern to border officers is the southern part of it.
Migrants have proved ingenious in their sometimes life-threatening attempts to illegally enter Romania. They hide under trucks, take the short but perilous journey across the Danube or simply walk under cover of darkness from Serbia into Romania..