In an international raid, investigators took action against a suspected smuggling network that is said to have illegally brought more than 560 people to Germany hidden in trucks. According to the German federal police, six suspects were arrested. One arrest was made in Germany, four in Romania and one in Bulgaria.
According to the federal police, it was a joint action by investigators from Germany, Romania, Bulgaria and Serbia. The Austrian police and the EU police authority Europol were also involved. The investigations were triggered after Turkish and Syrian citizens were apprehended at the German borders with Austria, the Czech Republic and Poland.
Turks and Syrians smuggled into Germany
The accused are suspected of having smuggled Turkish and Syrian nationals from Turkey to Romania and Germany. On the stage from Romania to Germany, they are said to have hidden migrants “under inhumane conditions” on the loading areas of trucks. They would have had to stay there for days.
The smugglers demanded 4,000 to 5,000 euros for the transport from Romania. In total, the trip from Turkey to the European Union cost up to 10,000 euros. In the investigations that have been ongoing since the end of the year, the authorities have identified 93 such transports.
A 38-year-old Syrian was arrested in Essen during the raid on Wednesday. There were further searches in Nauen in Brandenburg, in Regensburg in Bavaria and in the Romanian city of Timisoara.
200 police officers on duty
The federal police also said that high-quality cars, cell phones, cash and other evidence were seized during the operations. A total of almost 200 emergency services were involved in Germany and Romania. As early as July 2022, the Serbian police arrested a suspected smuggler as part of their own investigations.
In December, an international investigative group was formed with German, Serbian and Romanian participation. In the case, the federal police also worked together with the police in Austria and with Europol.
uh/qu (dpa, afp, kna)