Tag Archives: human traffic

Europol: Migrant smugglers arrests

The French Border Guard together with the French National Police (Police nationale) and the Dutch Royal Marechaussee (Koninklijke Marechaussee), supported by Europol and Eurojust, dismantled a large criminal network involved in migrant smuggling.

On the action day, law enforcement authorities arrested 23 suspected members of the criminal network (19 in France and 4 in the Netherlands), carried out five searches and seized firearms and vehicles. Irregular migrants discovered during the searches were brought to safety.

The criminal network is suspected of having facilitated the transportation of around 10 000 Afghan, Iranian, Iraqi-Kurdish and Syrian migrants from the French areas of Le Mans and Poitiers to the United Kingdom. The migrants were transported in life-threatening conditions, concealed in refrigerated – often-overcrowded – lorries (up to 20 migrants in a lorry).

The migrants paid up to €7 000 for the dangerous journey. The payments were collected via an undercover hawala banking system run by a suspect established in the Netherlands.

In total, the criminal gang is suspected to have gained around €70 million in profit from their illegal activities.

Europol supported this high-priority case by organising two operational meetings, facilitating the information exchange and providing tailored analytical support. On the action day, Europol deployed two experts on-the-spot, one in France and one in the Netherlands, to cross-check operational information in real-time. This case was also developed as part of EMPACT JOT Dunqett operational action.

Image: Europol courtesy

Mogherini convinced in “benefits” of migration

“…I regret that one of our Member States has recently presented a position that is not in line with the position of the 27 other Member States” – EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini said during her presentation of Global Compact for Refugees to MEPs. “Here our common work, and your contribution as Parliament will be essential: because together we can push towards inclusive and balanced Compacts, to improve the lives of millions of people, to address the concerns of the European citizens and to turn migration from a common challenge into a shared opportunity for human development”.

“It is not by standing aside or by pretending that we can put a wall between us and the rest of the world that we will shape common solutions. And we remain convinced that all states can benefit from closer international cooperation – be they countries of origin, transit or destination. Some countries are all three at the same times: they are at the same time a country of origin, transit and destination,” – Mogherini continued.

Promoting vision of beneficial influence of migration of the EU, Mogherini said,  in a new vision of migration there is no place for traffickers, smugglers, however the Compact is intended to continue encouraging the process of migration: “we reduce irregular migration and instead we have the courage to invest in more regular and safe channels for migrants”.