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The police apprehended Bulgarians for trafficking of immigrants

23 June 2014 / 17:06:14  GRReporter
2719 reads

Anastasia Balezdrova

Three Bulgarian nationals were apprehended on charges of trafficking of illegal immigrants in Greece last week. In particular, on 16 June, members of the special unit to combat illegal immigration in Rodopi municipality in northern Greece apprehended two Bulgarians and one Pakistani who transported to Greece 13 illegal immigrants, citizens of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Myanmar.

Within the context of the organized operation, the police found one of the Bulgarian citizens, aged 34, who was the driver of a car with Bulgarian registration plates, in which they found five illegal immigrants. He was accompanied by a 24-year-old Pakistani who was accused of complicity.

Later they apprehended the second Bulgarian citizen, aged 27, who also drove a car with Bulgarian registration plates, which transported eight illegal immigrants.

The police in Komotini report that they have confiscated the two cars and disseminated their photos.

Two days later, another Bulgarian, aged 46, was apprehended in Mandra village in Evros while trying to transport four illegal immigrants, citizens of Syria. The police confiscated his car and a sum of 245 euro and 500 leva.

In both cases, the detainees had been sent to the prosecutors in Komotini and Orestiada in order for them to launch a criminal investigation, as stated by the press department of the police in the region of East Macedonia and Thrace for GRReporter.

According to judicial sources, the cases of Bulgarians apprehended on charges of transporting illegal immigrants to Greece have become more frequent over the past year. "I had a similar case about a month ago. The traffickers were a Bulgarian couple. The woman had serious health problems and she could not move without crutches. Therefore, she was released on bail. Her husband was sentenced to 10 years in prison," president of the Bar in Komotini George Kimbaridis told GRReporter.

He pointed out that the trafficking of illegal immigrants is a felony. "The penalty is between 10 and 25 years in prison depending on the specifics of each case and the number of transferred immigrants. It is possible to hear sentences for 100 years in prison, which is the sum of the penalty for each of the immigrants but the effective sentence is 25 years," said Kimbaridis.

Both he and journalistic sources from Northern Greece indicate that such arrests have been very common for years but until a year ago, the foreign perpetrators were mainly from Turkey, whereas now there is an increase in the number of captured traffickers who are citizens of Bulgaria.

Just days ago, the U.S. State Department released its annual report, according to which Greece is still a transit country, but also the final destination of victims of international human trafficking. Although the report's authors criticize the Greek government for not fulfilling the minimum standards for the interruption of human trafficking, they indicate that the measures against traffickers are more stringent than in the past.

Tags: Crime newsTrafficking in immigrantsBulgarian citizensArrestKomotiniSentences
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