Source AP ©

Polish police detain 59 Chechens trying to flee to Germany

Fifty-nine Chechens were detained by Polish police when trying to cross illegally into Germany on a train – just two days after the European Union's borderless travel area expanded eastward.

A spokesman for the Border Guards Dorota Mazur said that 28 children were among the Chechens. The refugees held visas to reside in Poland , but did not have papers to travel elsewhere within the European Union

Some of them had train tickets to Cologne, Germany.

Passport controls were abolished over the weekend between Poland, a former ex-communist country now in the European Union, and Germany, its much wealthier Western neighbor as part of the expansion of the Europe's borderless travel area known as the Schengen zone.

Although border controls have been eliminated, Polish and German security officials were continuing random checks in the vicinity of their common border.

In the run-up to the Schengen expansion, German security officials voiced fears that illegal immigrants would abuse the abolition of border checks to enter Germany illegally.

Border guards came across the Chechens in the western Polish city of Rzepin, the last stop before the German border on the Warsaw-Berlin train route. To keep the train on schedule, Polish officials detained 35 of the Chechens and let the train continue on, authorities said.

The remaining 24 were detained at the next stop, in the German border city of Frankfurt an der Oder and later returned to Poland.

Photo: AP 

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