Sri Lankans were among 160 illegal migrants who were detained by the Polish border guards while attempting to cross from Belarus to Poland on Saturday, Sky News reported.

Quoting border officials, Polish media is reporting that 160 people tried to cross into Poland yesterday, including citizens of Somalia, Egypt, Ethiopia and Sri Lanka. 

They added that three Ukrainian nationals were also arrested for trying to help four Syrian and three Bangladeshi citizens into Poland. 

It means over 500 people have been detained already this year for assisting illegal border crossings.

Saturday’s figures fit into a picture that Polish officials have been painting for weeks, suggesting that crossings have rocketed this year.

The head of the border guard says 19,000 people have tried to cross the border illegally since January – up from 16,000 in all of last year.

The surge caused officials to ask the Polish government for 1,000 troops to secure the border earlier this week. Warsaw ended up sending double that amount on Wednesday, “to stem illegal crossings and maintain stability”.