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News 05 Nov 14

Kosovo Arrests 15 Suspected Migrant Traffickers

In two separate operations, the Kosovo Police have arrested 15 persons suspected of trafficking in migrants.

Nektar Zogjani
BIRN
Pristina

In the first operation, 11 persons who “were involved for long period of time in the trafficking of migrants to the European Union countries” were arrested, the police said.

“In cooperation with other people from Serbia, Hungary, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, and France, the suspects illegally smuggled persons from Kosovo to the EU countries for illegal material gain,” the press release said.

Police said the group used different means to transport the victims, including cars and regular buses to Serbia.

“The money they got for every migrant ranged between 1,800 and 3,500 euros, depending on the final destination," the police added.

"During the investigation, over 100 victims of this illegal activity were identified who were cheated by this criminal group. The identified migrants come from all regions of Kosovo."

The investigation was conducted in cooperation with police in Hungary, Austria, Switzerland, and France, the police said.

Kosovo is an important transit country for asylum seekers and irregular migrants, according to the EU Feasability Study for Kosovo.

According to the police, during another operation at the border crossings, four other persons were arrested, including two Turkish nationals.

“The [two Turkish] arrested persons ... were supposed to pay 6,000 euros each to the suspects,” the press release explained. The police arrested two others suspected of organizing their trafficking.

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