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GreekReporter.comGreeceMigrant-Trafficking Ring Uncovered with Europol Assistance, 16 Arrests

Migrant-Trafficking Ring Uncovered with Europol Assistance, 16 Arrests

LATHRO Greek and European authorities announced on Tuesday that a migrant-trafficking ring bringing mainly Syrian irregular migrants to Greece via Turkey had been uncovered with the assistance and support of Europol, leading to 16 arrests. Based on their investigation, police believe the criminal organization is also involved in the trafficking of migrants to other EU member-states via Greece.
The alleged ring members came from a number of countries, including Syria, Iraq, Egypt and Romania. They are considered responsible for smuggling around 350 irregular migrants into the country, mainly via the islands of Rhodes and Kos, near the Turkish coast. After they were brought to Greek territory by boat, migrants were then sent on to other EU countries, either by plane, using forged travel documents, or hidden in trucks headed for Italy. In other cases, they were sent by boat, either with private vessels or ferry lines, or by car.
Each migrant paid between 4,000 and 9,000 euros for the trip, depending on the destination and documents required. The ring’s estimated earnings from this criminal activity amount to roughly 7.5 million euros.
Commenting on the arrest, European Commissioner for Migration, Internal Affairs and Nationality Dimitris Avramopoulos said that it was an excellent example of the way in which the European Commission, the organizations and the member-states can together carry out more and better actions to fight illegal migrant-trafficking through the Joint Operational Team (JOT) Mare.
He noted that the Daedalus operation had led to the arrests and break-up of a multinational criminal group involved in illegal migration, which had earned millions through migrant-trafficking and related criminal activities.
Avramopoulos stated that further action to fight illegal migration was a priority for the European Commission and one of the basic pillars of the European agenda for migration to be adopted in May.
(source: ana-mpa)

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