Criminal organization with a branch in Serbia has been broken up

Tanjug – 22. 02. 2013.

Wiena - Austrian police successfully busted a criminal organization that was smuggling illegals in Europe and in past few years made a profit of more than 50 million euros. This organization had a branch in Serbia.

Police reported that the whole gang with branches in Iran, Turkey and Greece finally was exposed and smashed. This gang has smuggled approximately 5000 illegal migrants from Avganistan to Austria. Austrian Minister of Interior Johanna Mikl Lajtner said that this was the biggest gang that was dealing with smuggling illegals.

This criminal organization was well organized. In Iran it had substation for recruitments, most of all Afghans. Firstly, illegal immigrants were smuggled in Turkey, crossing the borders by land, on foot. Weekly average was about 15 transits. From Turkey, the illegals were continuing their journey to Greece, where was the headquarters of the criminal organization.

To be transferred to Greece, illegals had to pay about 8.000 to 12.000 euros per each. In Greece they were placed in houses and flats. During their stay in Greece, the illegals were forced to work.

- It is clear that this is a human trafficking – concluded Mikl Lajtner. It is further stated that the transit routes to Austria led through Italy, and the other route through Macedonia, Serbia and Hungary. There was also the air route which was through the airport "Schwechat".

In December 2011 police arrested the first member of the gang. The police took 17-month investigation and collaboration with colleagues in Greece and Turkey to break the gang and identify suspects gang leaders.

Police officials pointed out that this had not been just one gang, but the combined groups or organization.

According to the head of the Department for combating trafficking Gerald Tacgerna, this organization had a lot of members and the cells in Serbia, Hungary, and especially in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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