News 31 Jan 13

Suspected Migrant Smugglers Arrested in Kosovo

The EU rule of law mission, EULEX, and Kosovo police on Wednesday arrested three suspected smugglers as part of a wider EU operation.

Donjetë Hoxha
Pristina

In a joint operation on Wednesday, EULEX and Kosovo Police arrested three suspected smugglers, while one other was arrested last week.

Eleven others were arrested earlier in 2011 and 2012, bringing the number of total arrests to 15 in Kosovo alone, the EU mission said.

The operation was concluded in line with a Europe-wide operation, clamping down on smuggling migrants from Syria, Libya and Turkey to Western Europe.

“Some of the main leaders of this transnational crime network were allegedly operating from Kosovo, which served as a transit route from Syria, Libya and Turkey on to other Western European countries”, EULEX said in a press release.

During Wednesday’s operation, which took place simultaneously in 10 countries, 103 persons were arrested and 117 searches were conducted.

The so-called Fimathu project was conducted under the umbrella of EUROPOL and involved cooperation with Kosovo, Montenegro, Hungary, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Austria, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, France, Germany, Greece, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

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