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Syrian, Iraqi migrant traffickers sent to court in Romania

Prosecutors of the Directorate for Investigation of Organised Crime and Terror (DIICOT) have sent to court 16 members of a criminal ring specialising in smuggling migrants from Syria and Iraq via Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania to the Schengen Area.

DIICOT reports in a press statement that Ergin Mehmet, Ion Mocanu, Akdeniz Rasit, Dabanli Gokhan, Fide Arif, Stefan Rusu and Gafar Ervin have been sent to court over trafficking in migrants, attempted trafficking in migrants and the establishment of an organised crime ring; Zeytun Mehmet Nuri, Korkmaz Ismail, Pak Tahir, Demirdogan Tuncay, Dogan Omer, Demir Tarik, Dokuzluoglu Ilhan, Salim Zilfo have been sent to court over trafficking in migrants and the establishment of an organised crime ring, while Saracoglu Murat has been indicted with violation of arms and ammunitions legislation, trafficking in migrants, smuggling and the establishment of an organised crime ring.

According to the indictment, in January – April 2015, an organised crime ring was operational in Romania that would conduct clandestine transportation of migrants, particularly from Syria and Iraq, using smuggling through the southern borders of the country as the main way of operation, aboard passenger or freight means of transport, as well as a medium-sized boat used to cross the Black Sea border, and taking the migrants out of Romania via the border with Hungary aboard road trains.

The prosecutors argue that the organisation of the ring was highly complex and included concerted action at three levels.

The road trains for the trafficking of migrants were generally obsolete, with freight used only as a means to dissimulate the escapees and the accompanying documents sometimes containing false data.

The ring allegedly derived substantial financial profits on minimal investment, given that the amount asked for the smuggling of just one migrant was almost 5,000 euros and, according to the evidence collected, the ring smuggled nearly 150 migrants January – April 2015.

The case is being considered by the Bucharest Tribunal.

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