Greek Police Bust International Migrant Smuggling Ring


Greek police bust international migrant smuggling ring

Athens, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 23rd Jul, 2021 ) :Greek police and Europol said Friday they had dismantled a migrant trafficking network operating in Greece, Bulgaria and Hungary involving several hundred people.

Greek law enforcement estimated the group had smuggled more than 350 people into the country at a price of some 2,000 to 2,500 Euros ($2,400-$3,000) per head.

Police said smugglers brought them across the border from Turkey through the northern Evros region, a major hub for illicit border crossings.

"The criminal group used vehicles which had been registered in Bulgaria and sometimes in Georgia," Europol said, adding that they concealed people in the trunks of cars.

"The cars were then transported to northern Greece and Hungary, where they were used to smuggle migrants while driving at up to 250 kilometres per hour (155 miles per hour) to avoid police detection.

" According to Europol, simultaneous raids in three countries on Tuesday led to 12 arrests including leading members of the network: six people in Bulgaria, five in Greece and one in Hungary.

Greece has been a main entry point into the EU for years with people fleeing conflict and poverty in the middle East, Africa and Asia flocking to the borders.

In February last year Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned his country could not take in any more refugees from the Syrian conflict, spurring a wave of attempted crossings into Greece at Evros and days of scuffles with authorities.

The Greek government has since beefed up patrols in the Evros region, built a wall along the border with observation platforms, and in June announced they would begin using high-decibel sound cannons as a deterrent.