A Frenchman in his 60s has attempted to smuggle his young Russian wife into the EU inside a suitcase, without realising there was no need for the unusual ploy.
Officers from the Polish Border Guard were carrying out a routine patrol on an international passenger train crossing the border from Belarus on Friday when they became suspicious about the size of the man’s luggage.
They opened it to find a Russian woman, in her 30s, crammed inside for the journey from Moscow to the French city of Nice.
“The woman said she felt fine and didn't need medical attention after she got out the suitcase,” a statement from the Border Guard said.
Officers interviewing the couple in the Polish border town of Terespol were told the plan aimed to circumvent immigration laws preventing Russian citizens entering and residing in the EU without a visa.
Authorities quickly pointed out that spouses from nations not signed up to the Shengen agreement are still allowed to enter the passport-free zone if they can prove their marital ties.
Dariusz Sienicki, a Border Guard spokesperson, told AFP: “Had she been sitting next to her husband, she would have made it through without incident.”
Attempting to illegally cross the Polish border is punishable by up to three years in prison.
After being released by officials, the couple returned to Belarus.Reuse content