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Eurojust and Europol help dismantle migrant smuggling network

Germany police officers at street in front of house
Credit: D.I.I.C.O.T. and Poliția

The investigation began after several Turkish and Syrian nationals were arrested on German territory near the borders with Austria, the Czech Republic and Poland. The migrants had been smuggled from Turkey to Germany via Bulgaria/Serbia and Romania on the so-called Balkan route, using different means of transport. For the journey between Timisoara (Romania) and Germany, the smugglers used lorries, with the migrants staying hidden among cargo for several days under inhumane conditions. For some parts of the journey, the migrants also had to cross borders on foot to avoid official border checkpoints. Between the different segments of the journey, the migrants were housed in overcrowded temporary accommodations that lacked basic hygiene.

In total, the individuals under investigation in this case are suspected of having smuggled more than 560 people to Germany and more than 300 people to Romania. Each migrant had to pay between EUR 4000 and EUR 10 000, depending on the segment of the route. For instance, the criminals charged EUR 4000 to EUR 5000 for the transport from Romania to Germany.

Germany police officers at street in front of house
Credit: D.I.I.C.O.T. and Poliția

To uncover and dismantle the internationally operating migrant smuggling network, Eurojust set up a joint investigation team between the German, Romanian and Serbian authorities. Europol facilitated the information exchange, provided analytical support and deployed an expert to Romania to support the activities on the ground during the action day.

Further support was provided by the Austrian law enforcement authorities.

The Serbian police authorities had already arrested a trafficker responsible for coordination in Serbia in July 2022 as part of their own investigations.

The following authorities took part in the investigation:

  • Germany: Public Prosecutor’s Office Landshut, German Federal Police
  • Romania: Prosecutor’s Office attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice, Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism – Central Structure, Police Directorate for Combating Organized Crime, Timisoara Police Brigade for Countering Organized Crime, Timisoara Border Police
  • Serbia: Public Prosecutors Office for Organized Crime of the Republic of Serbia; Service for Combating Organized Crime, Criminal Police Directorate, Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Serbia



Link:, dated June 8, 2023 2:59 pm

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