10 People Detained for Migrant Smuggling to Serbia and Western Europe
The Special Prosecutor’s Office has charged ten persons with participating in an organised crime group involved in smuggling individuals and groups of migrants across the country, said the Appellate Special Prosecutor's Office.
The accused were detained on 25 September 2019 in Sofia and Kostinbrod in a joint operation of the Special Prosecutor's Office and the General Directorate for Combating Organised Crime. The law enforcers conducted a total of 28 searches of homes, automobiles, as well as personal searches, and seized tablets, telephones and radios used in the criminal activity.
The evidence collected indicates that the group has been operating since October 2018.
The group recruited migrants settled in Sofia and the region, who wanted to be illegally transferred to Serbia and Western Europe. They also took over migrants who were smuggled from Turkey by other traffickers. The group arranged for them to be transported to the border and smuggled to Serbia by car or through a "green border", where they were taken over by local people.
By the orders of the supervising prosecutor, the group leader and five of the group members were detained for up to 72 hours. Four group members had more lenient measures, such as a bail set at BGN 5,000 and 10,000, as they were cooperating with the investigation.
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