The identity of the two Nigerian students who said Croatian police picked them up on the street and drove them to Bosnia thinking they were migrants was confirmed after authorities checked their passports which they left in their hotel room in Zagreb.
The two are currently staying at the Miral migrant centre in the northwestern town of Velika Kladusa, the head of Bosnia’s Service for Foreigner’s Affairs, Slobodan Ujic, told N1 on Wednesday.
Abia Uchenna Alexandro and Eboh Kenneth Chinedu, both 18, told Bosnian web magazine ‘Zurnal’ that Croatian police deported them to Bosnia, treating them as illegal migrants – although they arrived in Croatia with valid visas.
The police told Croatia's Hina news agency that five Nigerian citizens – four students and their supervisor – legally entered Croatia on November 12 and took part in a sporting tournament in Istria County and that the supervisor and one of the participants in the tournament legally left Croatia via Zagreb's airport, while one applied for asylum in Croatia.
The two migrants who ended up in Bosnia spoke to officials from the country’s Service for Foreigner’s Affairs on Wednesday and repeated their story.
A friend of the two found their passports at a hostel in Zagreb and sent them to authorities in Velika Kladusa so their identity is confirmed.
The Nigerians said they wish to return to Croatia as they do not have any more money with them and that they then want to return to their country.
Ujic said that it is necessary to establish communication with Croatia so that the case is resolved and tickets for the students to go home can be secured as they can not afford them now.