Home » Romania, Moldova, Jointly Dismantle Major Migrant Smuggling Operation

Romania, Moldova, Jointly Dismantle Major Migrant Smuggling Operation

Balkan Insight, 29 mei 2024 – Police in Romania and Moldova staged a joint operation to crack organised criminal groups smuggling large numbers of people to Western Europe.

The authorities in Romania and Moldova have cooperated in the destruction of an illegal human trafficking network that brought more than 100 people into the passport-free Schengen area.

“From 2019 until now, an organised crime group smuggled over 100 migrants to the Schengen Area, demanding up to EUR 5,000 for the transport,” the European Union Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation, Eurojust said on Wednesday.

The approximately 20 members of the network were citizens of Romania and Moldova. The smuggling network brought the immigrants to Romania via fraudulently obtained work visas who then moved forward to other Western European countries. The operation raided 29 locations in Austria, Italy and Romania and 12 arrests were made in Romania.

Another organised crime group was dismantled also in March in a joint operation of authorities from Romania, Bulgaria and Germany, which smuggled immigrants on the Danube River. Police searched 33 locations in Romania, made 42 arrests, and seized assets, money and weapons.

Romania is one of the main routes used by traffickers to smuggle people into Europe. Many of them go on to Western European countries. Romania is trying to consolidate its border control, as its objective is to enter the Schengen area, although Austria strongly opposes this.

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