Police in several European countries have dismantled two criminal groups that smuggled migrants from Asia to Europe via the Balkan route, Europol said Thursday.
Europol and Eurojust helped agents from Spain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Italy, Romania and Slovenia dismantle the criminal network that transported migrants in vans and trucks.
Croatian police intercepted a truck carrying 77 migrants, including four minors, and two other vehicles carrying 68 people, mostly from Pakistan. All passengers were driven under life threatening conditions and charged up to US $ 23,000 each for the trip.
The criminal network recruited migrants from camps near the northern border of Bosnia and Herzegovina to transport them to Spain and Italy, and used a number of vehicles to inspect the roads and inform drivers of upcoming traffic checks. police.
Authorities estimate the group has earned more than $ 2.3 million from the smuggling of at least 400 migrants.
Just the day before, the Dutch and Hungarian authorities, as part of a joint operation with Eurojust, dismantled a human trafficking network that hired truck drivers to smuggle Syrian migrants across the Hungarian border. Serbian to the EU.
Two individuals were arrested during the operation on suspicion of recruiting truck drivers who have already been arrested in Germany and Austria for their involvement in human trafficking.