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Border checks can be introduced in 5 hours, exercise shows

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Lanzhot, South Moravia, Sept 27 (CTK) – Czech soldiers, police and customs officers can reintroduce border checks within five hours from an order to do so, a security forces training at the Czech-Slovak border showed on Tuesday, Police Presidium spokesman Jozef Bocan has told CTK.

The exercise also showed that radio connection in some remote areas at the 250-km long border was bad, Bocan said.

Some 300 police officers, 140 soldiers and 30 customs officers took part in the exercise in which the strictest level of border control was introduced based on a fictitious government decision.

Defence Minister Martin Stropnicky said the exercise was not motivated by any particular situation or any increased threat.

Police President Tomas Tuhy said the security forces tested their coordination and communication to be prepared for a possible reintroduction of border checks.

Two wanted persons were arrested by the police.

In the second part of the exercise, the police introduced random checks at 11 border crossings that are close to refugee camps abroad.

“The measure did not confirm an increased influx of asylum seekers from German and Austrian refugee facilities to Czech territory,” Bocan said.

The Czech armed forces have trained border protection repeatedly in the last several months.

The first exercise took place in September 2015, when 800 police and troops controlled the border with Austria. Last March, the arrival of a high number of refugees and their checking and registering were simulated at the Czech-Austrian border. Last April, the arrival of armed forces at the border in southern Moravia was tested for a possible emergency situation.

Tuhy said an exercise along the border with Germany would be held this year and another exercise at the border with Poland next year.

Due to the migrant crisis, the Czech police introduced random checks at the border in June 2015. More than 3700 refugees have been detained within these checks.

South Moravia regional police chief Leos Trzil said only a few refugees a week were recently detained in the region, mostly aboard night trains coming from Vienna.

In the first six months of the year, only 200 refugees were detained in southern Moravia, mainly from Syria and Afghanistan.

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