Europe

German, Romanian police bust human smuggling network

Austria, Hungary, UK and Eurojust also took part in 2-year Europe-wide operation, Europol says

Oliver Towfigh Nia   | 14.11.2019
German, Romanian police bust human smuggling network

BERLIN

A large criminal network involved in the smuggling of migrants to western Europe has been dismantled by the German and Romanian police, Europol said on Thursday.  

“Austria, Hungary, the United Kingdom and Eurojust also took part in this two-year, Europe-wide operation,” Europol said in a statement.

The statement said the operation was initiated in Germany in 2018 when authorities detected migrants from Iran, Iraq and Syria entering Germany in trucks via Czech Republic and Hungary.

“The investigation into the organized crime group uncovered a network composed of at least 36 members who earned more than 2 million euros [$2.2 million] from nearly 580 smuggled migrants,” it said.

The investigation, Europol said, also revealed the network was smuggling people from their countries of origin to Timișoara, Romania and then to Germany. In the final leg of the journey to western Europe, the migrants were forced to travel in trucks, it added.

“During this last phase of the operation, the Romanian police carried out eight searches and arrested four suspected members of the organized crime group,” the statement said.

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