Human TraffickingNews

Searches of a criminal group specializing in migrant trafficking

From July to October, 24 members of the criminal group were identified, including two Iranian citizens, four Romanian citizens and 18 Afghan citizens, who laid the foundations of the organized criminal group for the purpose of to facilitate the illegal passage of migrants of Afghan origin.

The groups of migrants, generally consisting of 4-16 people, were taken from the area of ​​Romania’s border with Serbia, boarded by taxis and driven within the municipality of Timisoara, where they were either accommodated in rented apartments or landed near shopping centers in Timisoara to take shelter.

 From the preliminary investigations carried out, it was established that the persons involved were extremely well organized, with precisely delimited attributions.

The research showed that migrants who managed to pay the price requested by the organizers, respectively between 500-15,000 euros per person, for operations carried out strictly on the counties of Timiş, Arad, and Hunedoara, were transported by Romanian citizens in maximum three days from their accommodation, in one of the parking lots located on the A1 highway, near the localities of Ilia, Chizătău, Şuştra, Giarmata, Şagu, Pecica and the Lugoj bypass, where the organizers were dealing with the identification of unsealed road trains, which they opened to check the type of goods and the destination, thus determining whether or not the road train can be loaded with migrants.

The criminal activity was structured on three levels:

  1. The financing segment was provided by the leaders of the group whose role was to collect the sums of money from the organizers of the migrant groups operating on the Turkey-Serbia chain, sums of money that were used to organize the network in Romania. In this sense, they traveled from Bucharest to Timisoara, paying the expenses occasioned by the trafficking of migrants, the amounts due to the Afghan organizers (group leaders of the parking lots) who carried out the activities of transfer and introduction in trucks. In turn, Afghan car park organizers paid the value of transportation services to taxi drivers.
  2. The segment of organizing criminal activities in parking lots was provided by four Afghan citizens, for each parking lot, who initially acted only in the allocated parking lot.
  3. The internal transport segment that was provided by Romanian citizens, taxi drivers.

The members of the criminal group have continuously carried out, starting with July 2021, the activity of migrant trafficking, until this moment, being identified a number of 53 criminal acts.

The searches are in progress, and a number of 27 people will be brought to the hearings based on the warrants. The total criminal proceeds are estimated at 500,000 euros.

The action benefited from the support of the Traunstein-Germany Public Prosecutor’s Office, with four police officers being delegated to assist with searches and hearings, DCCO Bucharest, ITPF Oradea, BOS Timisoara, DOS Bucharest, IPJ Timis, Mobile Gendarmes Group Timisoara.