- Authorities in western Russia arrested a man accused of building fake border posts and tricking migrants into believing they marked the state borders between Russia and Finland, the Interfax news agency reported.
- The incident happened in Russia’s Vyborg region, which is about 15 miles from the actual border.
- The unidentified man from central Asia is accused of charging four South Asian migrants more than 10,000 euros, or $US11,000, to help them cross what they believed was the EU border, Interfax reported, citing border agents.
- The man is thought to have taken the migrants on an extended route along a series of roads and around a lake, while carrying an inflatable boat, the news agency reported.
- The suspect faces fraud charges, and the South Asians were deported for violating migrant rules.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Russian authorities arrested a man accused of building a fake border with Finland and charging four South Asian migrants more than 10,000 euros, or $US11,000, to help them cross into what they believed was the European Union, local media reported.
The suspect is thought to have constructed fake frontier posts in a forest in Russia’s western Vyborg region and marked them as the state border between Russia and Finland, Russia’s Interfax news agency reported on Wednesday, citing regional border-control officials working for the Federal Security Service, or FSB.
The westernmost tip of Vyborg region is about 15 miles from the Russian border with Finland.
The man is accused of charging the male migrants for guiding them across the fake state borders, taking them on an extended route by car and foot along a series of roads and around a lake while carrying an inflatable boat “just in case,” Interfax reported.
The incident took place last week, resulting in all five men – the suspect and the migrants – being arrested and detained.
The Vyborg district court expelled the four migrants from Russia and fined them an undisclosed amount, Interfax reported the FSB border agency as saying.
The suspect faces fraud charges, Interfax reported.
Interfax did not identify the man but said he was a citizen of one of the Commonwealth of Independent States, which consist of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.
It also did not say what the nationalities of the four South Asian migrants were and why they had wanted to enter the EU.
Finland has clamped down on its border controls at the Russian border and tightened rules for Russians getting EU visas in recent years.