Rubbing salt into wounds and stealing a lot more than bread
In Belarus, desperate migrants are selling everything to leave the country, only to be conned by smugglers
Syrian friends Anas Kanaan, 34, and Mouein al-Hadi, 36, were told by people smugglers they would easily be able to get to Germany from Belarus. They just had to pay $3,390 (about R55,000) each to an intermediary in Turkey.
But the safe crossings from Belarus to Poland indicated by the smugglers were closed. Then, after more than a week spent camping in freezing forests on the border, a smuggler led them to a Polish village in broad daylight, where they were easily spotted by police, arrested and returned to Belarus.
“It’s like our money has just basically evaporated,” al-Hadi said in a field near the Polish town of Orla after again managing to breach the border, but unable to walk because his feet were swollen from the cold...