Eleven injuries were reported on Friday in Evros prefecture when a vehicle crammed with third country nationals, who had earlier illegally entered extreme northeast Greece, veered off the road in an effort by the driver to avoid a police check.

The car was travelling along a provincial roadway outside the border city of Alexandroupolis in Evros prefecture, which borders with Turkey to the east. Reports state that the driver sped away to avoid a police roadblock. All of the passengers aboard were injured, but none life-threatening.

No information was given on the nationalities of the would-be migrants, their gender or ages, only that the vehicle’s operator did not a have a driver’s license.

Greek authorities have stepped up patrolling and taken stricter measures along roadways leading away from the Evros area, as several incidents have previously been reported with brash migrant smugglers even driving in the opposite traffic direction – i.e. in the emergency lane – in order to avoid police checks and tollways.

Fatalities have been recorded as well, including of local residents whose vehicles were crashed into by migrant smugglers – often teens – transporting illegal immigrants who were ferried onto Greek territory from opposite Turkey.

Greece faced a major migrant crisis in February and early March 2020 when the Erdogan government in Turkey essentially signalled to third country nationals in that country to try and pass into Greek territory through the Evros/Maritsa River and a small land border shared by the two countries, in order to reach preferred destinations in central and western Europe. Turkish authorities at the time said they would not prevent would-be migrants and asylum seekers from trying to enter Greece clandestinely.