Sunday, August 14, 2022

Baghdad

5 European countries combat Iraqi migrant smuggling network

 5 European countries combat Iraqi migrant smuggling network

Migrants arrive in Britain in May after they were rescued from rubber boats sailing in the English Channel. Photo: Al-Arabiya

Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) – An international campaign was launched on Tuesday in five European countries, including Germany and France, to dismantle a network of smugglers, according to what the German police announced.

This network of smugglers organizes the illegal crossing of migrants wishing to reach Britain through the English Channel, according to the German magazine Der Spiegel.

The police in the German city of Osnabrück said in a statement that raids and arrests took place in several German regions, including Lower Saxony state.

A French border police official stated last April that the city of Osnabrück, located in western Germany, is considered a major rear base for smuggling networks who transport illegal migrants into Britain, according to AFP.

In addition to Germany and France, operations are taking place in Belgium, the Netherlands and Britain, according to the German police, who mentioned that hundreds of policemen have been mobilized for this purpose.

The operation in these five European countries is coordinated by the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation ‘Europol’ and the European Union Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation ‘Eurojust’.

Der Spiegel magazine quoted Osnabrück police saying that this network, consisting mainly of Iraqi Kurdish smugglers, organized the crossing of about 10 thousand people on rubber boats in the past 12 to 18 months towards Britain.

Last April, a French police official mentioned that the Iraqi Kurdish community came up with the idea of small boats that appeared in 2019 to replace attempts to reach Britain by trucks since then, according to AFP.

The number of attempts by migrants to sneak into England through the English Channel rose significantly in the first half of 2022, according to the French Interior Ministry.

In 2021, 52 thousand people tried to cross the English Channel by rubber boats from the northern coast of France, between the cities of Calais and Dunkirk, only 28 thousands out of the 52 thousand migrants succeeded, according to the French Interior Ministry.