A Russian border pole on display outside Pasvik border station. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

Jail sentence for attempted illegal border crossing

Four citizens of Morocco were arrested behind Russia’s barbed wire fence on border to Norway.
October 19, 2017

The four Moroccans were stopped on June 4th by FSB Border Guards when attempting to leave Russia for Norway.   

A court in Pechenga, the border municipality, handled the criminal case in early October and now, the Prosecutor’s Office in Murmansk Oblast informs about the sentences. Two of the persons got five months and the two other got six months punishment in a prison colony. News agency Flashnord was first to report about the court rulings.

The court concludes that the illegal border crossing was planned in advanced.

Russia’s border to Norway is 196 kilometers long, but legal crossings are only allowed from the checkpoint Borisoglebsk on the main road between the two countries. Illegal border crossings in the terrain is very rare, although several attempts have been prevented recently.

Over the last six months migrants have been arrested five times in attempt to cross the border to Norway. In August, a Syrian citizen was arrested after he climbed the through the barbed wire fence. In July, two other Syrians made it through the fence, but were detained before they reached the borderline. In June, four Moroccans were arrested and in March, two Iranians were halted.

On the Russian side of the border, the barbed wire fence stretches all along. The fence has alarm system and in some areas near public roads, there are also surveillance cameras working day and night.

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FSB’s Border Guard Service on patrol along the barbed wire fence that goes all along Russia’s Arctic border to Norway. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

In the autumn 2015, some 5,500 migrants where allowed to leave Russia and enter Norway at the Borisoglebsk-Storskog border checkpoints. The so-called “Arctic Migrant Route” ended in late November 2015.

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