In a joint effort with the Romanian Border Police, the Bulgarian General Directorate Combating Organised Crime and the German Federal Police in Waidhaus, 28 people were arrested on charges related to smuggling illegal immigrants into the Schengen Area. Europol also supported the operation. The individuals were part of criminal organizations that specialized in smuggling immigrants through Bulgaria and Romania.
The arrests were the result of lengthy investigations by the three countries’ law enforcement agencies. The 28 individuals arrested have been charged with human trafficking and organized crime. During the operation, authorities raided multiple locations across the two countries and managed to seize several weapons, vehicles as well as large sums of cash.
The Immigrant Smuggling Ring
The individuals involved in the smuggling ring were operating across Bulgaria and Romania. They smuggled immigrants mainly from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan, charging them thousands of euros to enter the Schengen zone. Once inside, the immigrants were sent to different member states, including Germany and France. The ring was highly organized, with individuals involved in different stages of the process, from recruitment to transportation and document forging.
The joint operation between the Romanian Border Police, Bulgarian General Directorate Combating Organised Crime, and the German Federal Police in Waidhaus is a timely reminder of the challenges faced by countries in the Schengen Area due to illegal immigration. Such operations highlight the need for international cooperation between law enforcement agencies, which is essential in curbing crimes related to human trafficking and organized crime. It is hoped that these arrests will act as a deterrent to others seeking to engage in similar criminal activities.