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Migration crisis Bern steps up the fight against people smuggling

The number of people seeking asylum at Switzerland’s eastern border continues to rise, but remains low compared to neighbouring countries, Austria and Germany. (RTS/swissinfo.chexternal link)

At the frontier post in Buchs, on the Swiss border with Liechtenstein, 709 illegal immigrants were reportedly stopped in August compared with 209 in July and 110 in June. The numbers could rise as thousands of migrants continue to stream northwards through Hungary. About 20,000 migrants arrived in Germany over the weekend after an agreement with Austria and Hungary to relax asylum rules. 

Jürg Noth, the head of the Swiss border guard corps, was quoted on Sunday as saying border patrols were being beefed up in Buchs and the Rhine valley. Internal inspections are carried out on trucks to try to stop human trafficking.

Switzerland currently has around 2,000 guards manning its borders. The Swiss cabinet recently approved 48 additional border guards for the eastern border but Noth estimates that between 200 and 300 might be needed.