The Federal Police of Belgium, in collaboration with Europol and police forces from Italy, Germany, France, Austria and the United States, have broken up a criminal organisation that smuggled people from Turkey in private planes.
Around five suspects were arrested in house searches in Belgium, Italy and France, two of them in Belgium and two aircraft were also seized. The victims had to pay up to $20,000 for their trip, as reported by the federal police.
The smuggling of people always proceeded in the same way, as per the Federal Police. “The passengers, mainly persons of Kurdish origin, boarded a private plane in Turkey with fake diplomatic passports in their pocket. The official destination of the trip, usually the Caribbean, was never reached, however. During a stopover at a European airport, the migrants left the plane, destroyed their false passports and systematically applied for asylum.”
As per police, “The organisation is also said to have issued fake checks and defrauded airlines in an attempt to build its own fleet. Invoices from hotels were not paid either. “The organisation collected extortionate prices of up to $20,000 per person smuggled.”
“Between October and December 2020, at least 5 smuggling operations took place in 5 different EU nations. In addition, several plans were made to carry out other smuggling operations.”
Research by the Belgian police forces, in collaboration with European and American colleagues, showed that the organisation mainly operated from Belgium. On Tuesday, two suspects were arrested in Belgium, and three more in Italy and France.


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