Law \ Legal

Migrant Smugglers Used Private Planes, Fake Diplomatic ID’s

Eurojust, the European Union’s agency for criminal justice cooperation, has busted a criminal network that smuggled migrants onto the continent by flying them on private aircraft from Turkey with fake diplomatic passports, reports Bloomberg News. While the official destinations of the flights were usually stated as the Caribbean, they were never reached, migrants, instead, leaving the plane during stopovers at different European airports, disposing of their false passports and applying for asylum.

Eurojust estimates at least five smuggling operations took place between October and December 2020, with suspected smugglers charging as much as 20,000 euros ($19,960) per person. US authorities also participated in the investigation, which yielded five arrests in Belgium and Italy, the seizing of two planes, and 173,000 euros.

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