The number of undocumented migrants without the right to stay in Switzerland more than doubled in 2015. The number of people smugglers apprehended increased by almost 20%.
According to information released by the Swiss Customs Administration on Tuesday, over 31,000 illegal migrants were identified in 2015. This represents an increase of around 118% over the previous year.
The largest numbers of undocumented migrants was observed in the canton of Ticino, with over 10,000 unregistered migrants. Other hotspots include eastern Switzerland (almost 7,000), Basel-Schaffhausen (almost 6,500) and Vaud-Valais (over 5,300).
Slightly over 18,000 people filed an asylum application with Swiss customs and border guards in 2015, an increase of around 65% over the previous year.
Customs also intercepted more people smugglers in 2015 than the year before. They documented 466 cases of people smuggling, an increase of 20%.
Almost 20,000 people were prevented from entering Switzerland due to entry bans or arrest mandates and more than 2,200 cases of prohibited weapons trafficking were intercepted.