Fewer cases of illegal immigration recorded 

Most illegal immigrants were picked up on trains, but also in road vehicles. © Keystone/Peter Klaunzer

The number of immigrants in Switzerland without a legal residence permit has continued to drop over the past few years, according to the Swiss Border Guards. 

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The national law enforcement agency said it recorded 16,563 cases in 2019, down from 27,300 in 2018 and 48,830 the year before. 

The overall number of illegal stays has plummeted by nearly 75% since 2015, according to the news agency, Keystone-SDA. 

Immigrants from Nigeria made up the biggest group last year, ahead of citizens from Albania, Algeria, Gambia and Morocco, according to data published by the Federal Customs Administration on Wednesday. 

In comparison, illegal immigrants from Eritrea topped the list in 2016. 

Most people (6,489) without a legal residence permit in Switzerland were picked up while travelling on trains, nearly 5,500 in road vehicles, about 950 on planes and almost 20 on boats trying to cross the border. 

Last year, the security forces also arrested 405 suspected human traffickers, most of them Syrians, Turks and Swiss. 

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