Dutch arrest two Syrians for smuggling hundreds into Europe

 

Dutch arrest two Syrians for smuggling hundreds into Europe
A dinghy with Syrian migrants is towed by a Greek Coast Guard patrol boat into the port of Kos, Greece.

The Hague - Migrants paid some 7,000 euros for the risky crossing across the Mediterranean, arriving in Greece and Italy.

By AFP

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Published: Fri 18 Sep 2015, 3:51 PM

Last updated: Fri 18 Sep 2015, 5:59 PM

Dutch officials have arrested two Syrian nationals accused of organising a huge trafficking network smuggling hundreds of migrants into Europe, prosecutors said Friday.
The two men, arrested in the southern city of Eindhoven after a year-long probe, brought refugees from Turkey by boat into Europe, prosecutors told AFP.
Migrants paid some 7,000 euros for the risky crossing across the Mediterranean, arriving in Greece and Italy.
From there for a further 700 euros each, the refugees could pay to be driven by private cars or mini-buses to northern European countries, including the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark and Sweden.
Read: Babies, children drown as migrant boat capsizes off Greek island
As the flow of refugees grew in past months, the price doubled to 1,500 euros each, the Dutch prosecution service said in a statement.
The 35-year-old main suspect, who was staying with a cousin in Eindhoven, had a huge contact list of thousands people, and "organised shipments and arranged cars and drivers to transport refugees," prosecutors said.
Safe-houses were found in Milan, Athens, Vienna and Budapest where the migrants could stay as they waited to move deeper into the continent.
Read: Germany warns at 'limit of capacity' as migrant numbers surge
The refugees had to pay for most of their passage in advance in cash, which was then transferred by an underground banker to the Netherlands. The rest was given to their driver once they reached Europe.
The 26-year-old nephew of the main suspect was in charge among other things of recruiting refugees in Hungary and Austria.
Read: About 7,600 migrants entered Macedonia in 12 hours
Both were arrested last Friday, and police also seized a trove of computers and mobile phones, as well as identity papers.
The main suspect was also in regular contact with a third man, aged 27, who was arrested in Budapest earlier this month.


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