In the first two months of 2023 Slovenian police processed 5,162 foreigners who crossed the national border illegally, which is almost four times more than in the same period of 2022. The largest source country was Afghanistan, accounting for a fifth of the total, the latest police statistics show.
The vast majority of the migrants, 4,763, expressed the intention to apply for international protection in Slovenia, which is almost six times more than in the first two months of 2022. Only 834 applications were actually filed, compared to 944 in 2022.
Afghanistan has been a major source country since last year, while the number of illegal migrants from Morocco, Russia and Cuba has increased more than tenfold year-on-year. This year India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Syria and the Democratic Republic of Congo are among the top ten source countries.
In 2022 most illegal migrations were detected by the Koper Police Department in the south-west of the country. Now, the focus appears to have shifted to the south-east of the country, which is covered by the Novo Mesto Police Department: 60% of all illegal crossings were recorder there in January and February.
The sharp increase coincides with the end of police checks on the southern border after Croatia joined the Schengen zone on 1 January. Several news reports in recent days suggest migrants now often travel via public transportation instead of trying to cross through forests at night.