According to its own statements, the European police Europol has arrested eleven suspected smugglers who used the route through Belarus to the European Union. Investigators in Estonia, Germany, Lithuania, Poland and Great Britain were involved in the cross-border operation, Europol announced on Friday.
According to Europol, the smugglers’ gang consists of Syrians and Turks who organized the transfer of Iraqi refugees from Baghdad to the European Union. In the course of Operation Europol, ten suspects were arrested in Poland.
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Another was arrested in the UK. In this case, according to Europol, he was a key member of the network who was arrested on the basis of an arrest warrant issued by Germany. Electronic materials and receipts of remittances and cash were also confiscated during inspections in Poland.
According to Europol, each of the migrants paid between 10,000 and 13,000 euros to be transported from their country of origin via Belarus to Germany. Europol estimated the income of the “criminal network” at no less than seven million euros.
In the summer of 2021, thousands of refugees arrived at the EU’s external borders via Belarus, but were turned away from there. The European Union has accused Belarus Governor Alexander Lukashenko of deliberately smuggling migrants to the bloc’s external borders in order to exert pressure. (AFP)