Police nab 56 refugees inside Austria

People smugglers are continuing to target Austria, as 56 victims of human trafficking were discovered this week in two separate operations.

Police nab 56 refugees inside Austria
A group of Syrian refugees. File photo: APA

On Wednesday, a truck was inspected and found to contain 39 Afghans, among whom there were 12 children.  One of the children, a nine-year-old boy, was severely disabled, and at least one of the women (25) was heavily pregnant.

The truck was intercepted on the A4 highway from Hungary near the Austrian town of Bruck an der Leitha.  The 39 people had been cooped up in the truck for several days.

The Afghans were taken to the nearby town of Bad Deutsch Altenburg for processing.  No arrests have yet been made in connection with the people smugglers.

A few hours later, yet another case of trafficking was discovered, involving ten Syrians and seven Iraqis in a vehicle in the nearby towns of Pachfurth and Gerhaus.

All 56 of the refugees have applied for asylum in Austria, however under the Dublin III accords, they are required to apply in the first EU country in which they arrive.

The previous week, a train from Italy was intercepted with 48 asylum seekers on board.

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The office for immigration and citizenship in Vienna is for many immigrants their first encounter with Austrian bureaucracy. We want to hear from you about your own experience dealing with officials and the process.

Tell us: What was your experience like dealing with Vienna's MA35?

Vienna’s MA35 is a well-known office for immigrants in Austria, particularly those who live in the capital. It has received plenty of criticism for long delays, mistakes and even mistreatment of those seeking services from renewing a visa to applying for Austrian citizenship.

Yet, it is an integral part of life for immigrants and their family members, as the office is responsible for residence permits (from visas to the Anmeldebescheiningung for EU citizens), naturalisation applications and more. In short: there is no escaping it.

So, we want to hear from you: What has been your experience and importantly do you have any advice for others?