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News article19 September 2022Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs

Migrant smugglers arrested in EU-wide police investigation

Migrant smugglers arrested in EU wide police investigation

Law enforcement from Austria, Belgium, Germany, France, Italy and the United States, together with Eurojust and Europol, have dismantled a migrant smuggling criminal network.

By using a small private plane and false diplomatic passports, the smugglers flew migrants, mainly Iraqis and Iranians of Kurdish origin, to different European airports.

Eurojust supported the authorities involved with the setting up and funding of a joint investigation team (JIT) in June 2021. Europol prioritised the case at an early stage, assigning a dedicated analyst and specialist to support the national investigations to identify the members of the criminal network and to dismantle it.

 On 13 September:

  • 5 arrests (2 in Belgium and 3 in Italy) were made
  • 7 house searches (1 in Belgium and 6 in Italy) performed
  • 2 aircrafts, EUR 80 000, 1 high-end car, electronic equipment, and equipment to forge ID documents (such as card printers, stamps, holograms and white plastic cards) seized
  • EUR 173 000 frozen in Italy

Read more about the investigation and what happens next in Europol’s article.


Publication date
19 September 2022
Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs