• Norway's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Syrians cross Norway's Arctic border on bicyles

The Local · 27 Aug 2015, 11:27

Published: 27 Aug 2015 11:27 GMT+02:00

The Storskog border station -- just two hours drive from the Arctic City of Murmansk in Russia's far north -- is Norway's only legal border crossing with Russia.

According to border agreements, it is illegal either to cross the border on foot or to give someone without papers a lift, a problem Syrian refugees have sidestepped by using bicycles. 

"It is not news to us that tourists cross the border on bicycles, but recently we've also started to see some asylum seekers coming by bicycle," Gøran Stenseth, one of the border officials, told the local Sør-Varanger Avis newspaper. 

So far this year, 133 asylum seekers have entered Norway though Storskog on bicycles. According to local police, most of them are Syrian refugees.

Hans Møllebakken, head of the local police in Kirkenes, said that he had already arrested several drivers who had driven asylum seekers across the border. 

Story continues below…

"We have looked into the the legislation, and we have decided that from now on we will press charges against drivers who bring them across the border," he said

"We arrested someone on Thursday, and we are working on the case. It could be that people are making money off giving these lifts, and in that case, we are talking about human trafficking."

 

For more news from Norway, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.no)

Today's headlines
Norway won't give children the right to complain to the UN
Foreign Minister Børge Brende. Photo: Jon Olav Nesvold / NTB scanpix

The government is refusing to ratify an agreement that would allow Norwegian children to complain about rights violations directly to the UN.

Norway has Europe’s fastest internet: report
Only South Korea topped Norway in the global comparison. Photo: Magnus Hjalmarson Neideman /SvD /TT

Net surfers in Norway have the second fastest speeds in the world, according to a new report.

Iraqi activist Yanar Mohammed wins Norway prize
Martin Paulsen, the head of the Rafto Prize committee, announced Yanar Mohammed as this year's recipient. Photo: Marit Hommedal / NTB scanpix

Four previous recipients of the award have gone on to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

International students say Norway is the best
The University of Oslo was the only Norwegian school to get the 'outstanding' designation. Photo: Heiko Junge / NTB scanpix

Norway is Europe’s best destination for international students, according to a recently-released report.

Oslo passes 'climate budget' to cut emissions
Central Oslo seen from Holmenkolmen. Photo: Haakon Mosvold Larsen / NTB scanpix

The Oslo City Council passed a ‘climate budget’ on Wednesday that lawmakers said would ensure that a number of green initiatives actually get implemented.

Oslo court denies Snowden no-extradition pledge
When Snowden was awarded Norway's Bjørnsonprisen last year, he appeared via satellite. Photo: Svein Ove Ekornesvåg / NTB scanpix

UPDATED: Whistleblower reacts to court's decision to refuse to pledge safe passage.

Norway to go after ‘asylum cheats’
Integration Minister Sylvi Listhaug. Photo: Håkon Mosvold Larsen / NTB scanpix

Integration minister vows to revoke permits from those "who have fooled us".

Taking the environmental bite out of salmon fishing
Henri Lapeyrere, the CEO of Leroy France, points to the nets of Leroy's aquaculture salmon farm in Hitra Bay, west of Trondheim. Photo: Céline Serrat/AFP/Scanpix

The Norwegian salmon industry is trying to limit its environmental harm, but there's still a long way to go.

New 'idiotic' trend feared at Norway's Trolltunga
Swedish tourist Sarah Persson said the stunt was viewed by several other climbers. Photo: Sarah Persson

A photo of a dangerous stunt at the popular tourist attraction has tour guides worried that others will follow suit.

Norwegian kids are fourth fittest in the world
Norwegian children warm up for a kids' marathon in Oslo. Photo: Berit Roald / Scanpix

Norwegian kids have some of the highest level of aerobic fitness in the world, according to a recently-released international study.

Sponsored Article
Gran Canaria: 'So much more than beaches'
'I am so very happy and lucky to be alive': Freed Norwegian
International
'I am so very happy and lucky to be alive': Freed Norwegian
Sponsored Article
Why you should learn to trade (and just how easy it is)
Society
Hijab discrimination: Praise, Nazi comparisons and conspiracy theories
Facebook thanks Norway PM after censorship row
Society
Facebook thanks Norway PM after censorship row
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Expats say it's not just Norway's weather that's cold
Society
Expats say Norway is a cold place (and they don't mean the weather)
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
National
323 reindeer killed by lightning in Norway
Frozen effect bringing 'too many tourists' to Norway
Travel
Frozen effect bringing 'too many tourists' to Norway
Norway's angel princess divorces novelist husband
Norway's angel princess divorces novelist husband
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Norwegian motorist kills 19 reindeer in bloody collision
National
Norwegian motorist kills 19 reindeer in bloody collision
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
'Tick here please': Changing gender in Norway gets easier
Lifestyle
'Tick here please': Changing gender in Norway gets easier
Danish scientist: Mysterious 'blue blob' caused by weather
National
Danish scientist: Mysterious 'blue blob' caused by weather
Norwegian school permits burkini in swimming classes
Education
Norwegian school permits burkini in swimming classes
Norway's ‘biggest sovereignty concession’ to EU in years
National
Norway makes ‘biggest sovereignty concession’ to EU in years
Norway boosts defence against Russia threat
International
Norway boosts defence against Russia threat
FACT-CHECK: No, Norway isn’t banning diesel and petrol cars
National
FACT-CHECK: No, Norway isn’t banning diesel and petrol cars – yet
Norway aims to be climate-neutral by 2030
National
Norway aims to be climate-neutral by 2030
Migrant numbers plunge as Norway now 'less attractive'
National
Migrant numbers plunge as Norway now 'less attractive'
2,060
jobs available