Belgium: Police with Europol, other international police broke up criminal organization for smuggling people

Belgium: In cooperation with Europol, police agencies from Italy, Germany, France, Austria, and the United States, as well as the Federal Police of Belgium, a criminal organisation that trafficked individuals from Turkey on private jets, were dismantled.

In house searches in Belgium, Italy, and France, about five people were detained, including two in Belgium, and two planes were also confiscated.

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Along with this, according to the federal police, the victims were required to pay up to $20,000 for their travel expenses.

According to the Federal Police, the process of smuggling individuals always followed the same pattern: “The passengers, primarily people of Kurdish heritage, boarded a private jet in Turkey with phoney diplomatic passports in their pockets. However, the trip’s intended destination—typically the Caribbean—was never reached.

The migrants disembarked the aircraft during a layover in a European airport, burned their fake papers, and meticulously requested asylum.

In addition, the organisation is alleged to have issued phoney cheques and deceived airlines in an effort to assemble its own fleet, according to the police.

Additionally, hotel invoices were not paid. The group received outrageous payments of up to $20,000 for each individual they smuggled.

At least five smuggling operations were undertaken in five different EU countries between October and December 2020. Additionally, various preparations to conduct other smuggling operations were established.

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Together with their American and European counterparts, the Belgian police forces conducted research that revealed the organisation mostly operated out of Belgium. Tuesday saw the detention of two individuals in Belgium and the capture of three more in Italy and France.

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