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GreekReporter.com Greek News Crime The High Price of a Ticket to Europe for Migrants and Refugees

The High Price of a Ticket to Europe for Migrants and Refugees

syrian_refugeesThe increasing number of migrants and refugees reaching the shores of Greece, Italy, and other European countries has done more than just create a collective action problem for Europe.
“The only ones who benefit from the lack of a common European response are the smugglers and traffickers who are making profit from people’s desperation to reach safety” Antonio Gutteres, the head of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, said on Friday.
The United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime had reported that smugglers make around 150 million dollars from the 55,000 migrants and refugees they transport from East, West, and North Africa to Europe. So far in 2015, more than 300,000 seaborne refugees and migrants have entered Europe, coming primarily from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
Although the smuggler’s exact profit margins are unknown, Rob Wainwright, the head of Europol, spoke to Newstalk about the extent of human trafficking to Europe.
“We’ve identified in those cases almost 30,000 suspected people smugglers at different chains, different levels of criminal syndicates. All of them with cross-border elements, so involving at least two countries, many of them involving multiple countries, and at different levels of scale. If we can make a serious inroad on that then of course it helps to ease the wider pressures involved,” he said on Friday.
At the end of July, The Guardian had cited migrants who claimed that a seat on a boat travelling from Turkey to Greece costs anywhere from 1,000 to 1,200 euros.
A report by TIME magazine from May 2015 had found that smugglers get at least 2,300 dollars for each person they transport from the Middle East or the Sahara Desert to Europe.
Smugglers typically charge each migrant between 800 dollars and 1,000 dollars to reach Libya, either from across the Sahara or from the Middle East, and then between 1,500 dollars and 1,900 dollars to cross the Mediterranean to Europe, according to this week’s report,” Time wrote.
These excessive sums are not only being collected by individuals or smaller smuggling rings. In the same report, TIME cited a study by the Norwegian Center for Global Analysis and the Geneva-based Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime who discerned that migrant and refugee smuggling operations has provided the Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) with around 323 million euros in profits.
 

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