Human TraffickingNewsOrganised Crime

On July 31, 16 members of a criminal group that organized illegal border crossings for foreigners heard convictions in the District Court in Przemyśl

In 2017 and 2018, the organized criminal group was broken up by officers from the Border Guard Post in Rzeszów-Jasionka. The investigation was supervised by the District Prosecutor’s Office in Przemyśl. The head of the group was a 55-year-old Pole, a resident of Jarosław. The man recruited people who had issued fictitious invitations to Ukrainian citizens. On their basis, foreigners obtained visas and then entered the territory of the European Union. The inhabitants of Podkarpacie, who got involved in the practice, were specially prepared for it.

Before submitting the relevant applications to the Voivodship Office, they opened a bank account, and then the boss of the gang transferred about 15 thousand. dollars as confirmation of having funds to secure the costs of the foreigner’s stay.

The hospitable inhabitants of Podkarpacie received PLN 50 in return for a fictitious invitation. They were also given alcohol. Ready invitations were resold to Ukrainian citizens for the amount of 1 thousand. up to 2,000 zł. It was established that in this way about 150 Ukrainian citizens obtained visas and then entered Poland and, inter alia, to the Czech Republic. During searches of three premises belonging to the group’s members, the following items were revealed: confirmations of opening bank accounts, bank statements, photocopies of passports and 1500 packs of cigarettes without Polish excise duty, with an estimated value of PLN 21,000. zł.

As part of the investigation, property worth PLN 100,000 was secured against penalties threatening the suspects. zł. The evidence collected in the case allowed for the issuance of a decision on the presentation of charges against 22 Polish citizens. 16 people voluntarily submitted to the punishment. They received suspended sentences and fines. The Border Guard continues to conduct proceedings against the others.