JUSTICE

Bucharest organised crime prosecutors dismantle migrant smuggling ring

Prosecutors with the Bucharest branch of the Directorate for Investigation of Organised Crime and Terrorrism (DIICOT), together with officers of the Brigade against Organised Crime have dismantled a crime ring specialising in migrant smuggling that would demand 5,000 US dollars per each accommodated and guided migrant to European countries.

In a press statement sent to Agerpres on Tuesday, DIICOT says before July 4, several Romanian, Bulgarian and Turkish nationals initiated and set up an organised crime ring specialising in smuggling, racketing, advising, guiding, transporting, transferring and accommodating various Syrian and Iraqi migrants for illegal border crossing into Romania in order to derive ill-gotten gains.

The migrants were sheltered and accommodated at various Bucharest addresses only to be shortly after guided to the western borders of Romania with the intent of the migrants reaching various European Union member states to apply for political asylum; each migrant would have to pay 5,000 US dollars to the ring members.
Six persons capitalising on several Iraqi nationals attempting to reach the border-free Schengen Area amid escalation in the conflict in Iraq in the second part of 2014, facilitated the fraudulent crossing of the border through a crossing point close to the Calafat customs office of eight Iraqi migrants.
On August 17, a continuation was ordered in the criminal prosecution of four defendants and two suspects in connection with the establishment of an organised crime ring, being accomplices to illegal migration and migrant smuggling.

The prosecutors on Tuesday asked the Bucharest Tribunal to order a 30-day preventive detention of three of the defendants.

In their action, the prosecutors enjoyed support from the Department for Internal Intelligence and Protection.

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