On Monday, Romanian authorities said that they had caught a fishing boat with 68 asylum seekers off the country’s coast.
The boat was carrying Iraqis and Syrians, including 23 children. It was was intercepted late Sunday in the Black Sea in Romania’s southeastern Constanta region. This was the second such incident in a week.
The report raised fears that a new migrant route to Europe was opening up.
“They were accompanied by two Turkish traffickers,” Ionela Pasat, a spokeswoman for the Constanta coastguard, told AFP.
On August 13, a boat with 69 Iraqi migrants was caught in Romanian waters. One Bulgarian and one Cypriot were taken into custody on suspicion of human trafficking.
Romania is not a part of the EU passport-free Schengen zone and has largely been spared the ongoing migration crisis. However, the recent events show that the situation is rapidly developing.