Human TraffickingNewsOrganised Crime

21 defendants detained in the case of the organized criminal group that specialized in migrant trafficking on the western border  

Border police officers together with the police officers of the Arad Organized Crime Service carried out 35 home searches on the January 22, 2024, in the counties of Arad, Bihor, Brăila, Dolj and Vrancea, and detained 21 defendants, investigated for committing the crimes of forming an organized criminal group, migrant smuggling and identity fraud .

From the evidence administered in the case it emerged that the defendants, Romanian citizens and foreigners coming from Syria, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Nepal, Egypt, Turkey, Belarus, Italy and Austria, initiated and constituted a criminal group with a type structure pyramid scheme aimed at trafficking migrants.

The four of them were responsible for trafficking foreign around 250 citizens from Afghanistan, Syria, Austria and Bangladesh, stashed and rounded up mainly from Bucharest and Timișoara area, awaiting the moment when they were organized to cross the Romanian state border illegally, with final destination Western Europe.

The migrants were hidden in the freight cars of some international trains departing from the stations located on the western border of the country.

Depending on the number of days they were provided with accommodation and food, they paid amounts between 2,000 and 3,000 euros, the defendants dividing the money between them in proportion to the criminal activity committed (recruitment, guidance, guiding, transport and shelter).

Regarding one of the defendants, it was noted that, on several occasions, he presented himself to the Romanian authorities under a different identity and used false documents.

Following the 35 house searches carried out, the sums of 22,485 euros and 26,809 lei, 40 phones with SIM cards, a watch, 250 foreign passports and residence permits, 2 laptops, memory sticks, documents with probative value, as well as other evidence.