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Four Bulgarians apprehended in Thessaloniki for human trafficking

02 September 2015 / 14:09:49  GRReporter
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The Thessaloniki police have broken up a trafficking channel of immigrants, headed by a Bulgarian citizen and apprehended him as well as five other members of the criminal group, namely four Bulgarians and two Turks aged between 25 and 37 years. The charges against them include participation in a criminal organization, human trafficking for profit, which puts at risk the lives of people and violation of the law on weapons. The pre-trial proceedings indicate that the group involve at least one more trafficker who is facing the same charges.

According to the official police announcement, on 1 September in the morning the police foreigners department stopped a car and truck moving in that order on the Egnatia highway to Thessaloniki.

The inspection of the truck found 103 foreigners, 19 of whom children. The Greek media indicate that they were refugees from Syria who illegally crossed the Greek-Turkish border in Evros earlier the same day. They had no documents with them.

Having illegally entered the Greek territory, the refugees immediately got into the truck, which was to transport them to Thessaloniki. During the investigation the police established that all refugees had to pay the sum of 2,000 euro, i.e. the members of the criminal group would have earned earn more than 200,000 euro from the actual transportation.

In addition, the police found a sword in the car and seized it along with the documents of the truck, and the sum of 130 euro, which is considered to have been received within the course of the criminal activity in question.

Having arrived in Thessaloniki, the refugees would have supposedly moved to the border with Macedonia and from there to one of the countries of Central and Northern Europe.

It is worth noting that the capture of Bulgarian citizens in Greece on charges of immigrant trafficking is far from an isolated case. GRReporter's sources indicate that in Komotini prison alone there are 50 Bulgarians charged with, or convicted for, similar offences.

Four other Bulgarians were apprehended in Austria and Hungary at the end of last week, as 71 refugees had suffocated in their truck. The local police detained them and they faced the prosecutor. The Austrian newspaper Der Standart published an interview with one of the traffickers. Asked by the Austrian daily, "How many people are involved in human trafficking?" he stated that it was difficult to say but about 200 criminal groups could be identified in Greece alone.


Tags: Crime newsImmigrant smugglingCriminal groupBulgarian citizensThessaloniki
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