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Aktualitet

24 people handcuffed, VOA reflects the operation against migrant trafficking: Among those arrested in Albania, also businessmen and police

24 people handcuffed, VOA reflects the operation against migrant trafficking:

The Special Prosecutor's Office against Organized Crime and Corruption announced today the crackdown on two groups that organized the trafficking of migrants from South Asia, mainly from Bangladesh, to European Union countries, including Albania as a transit country. At least 22 people were arrested, while two others were ordered to appear. Two more are being sought. Among them are 11 entrepreneurs and 4 police officers.

According to the General Director of the Police, Mehmet Rrumbullaku, "investigations had started since during the year 2023, by various structures of the State Police, an increase in the number of foreigners, equipped with residence permits and work permits, had been detected in an attempt to "left to other countries".

The established scheme used as a cover several mediation agencies and employment agencies as well as commercial enterprises, which attracted foreigners with regular residence and work permits in Albania. "Employment mediation agencies, in cooperation with commercial companies mainly engaged in fashion, with headquarters in Vlora and Durrës, have carried out applications for unique work permits and then for equipment with type "D" visa, for foreign citizens . These procedures were carried out in a fictitious manner, since the goal was not to employ them, but to provide them with a visa, so that they could freely enter the Albanian territory, to then leave illegally to the countries of of the European Union", explained the Special Prosecutor's Office, adding that "during the employment and visa applications, fictitious residential rental contracts, forged professional and foreign language certificates were presented, and upon the arrival of these citizens in Albania, they did not have made their declaration as an employee, or have made this declaration only for a short time to avoid suspicion".

The groups of traffickers, which are suspected to have connections with other groups abroad, took care of all the elements of the traffic, from the application of the foreigners to the reception at the airport or accommodation and to escorting them to the borders of the country. to continue the journey to the EU countries, and for this, the migrants paid 5 thousand euros, according to the police. "Evidence has been identified and collected for the administrators of the mediation agencies and those that host the employment, their host at Rinas Airport, their place of stay, their transporters and their final destination, which in some cases has resulted apparently it was in the direction of Kukes to Kosovo and Serbia", announced the Special Prosecutor's Office.

Police officers involved in this activity helped provide visas for migrants and their smooth passage to the Mother Teresa International Airport, where they arrived mainly on flights from the United Emirates. "During the investigation, evidence was collected for police officers of the Border and Migration Department at the General Directorate of the State Police, at the central and regional level, who facilitated and assisted the criminal group in the procedures for devices with type "D" visas. , against the material benefit, or in not documenting and reporting during the controls that they had to exercise during their duty, as well as for police officers of the Rinas Police Station, who due to their duty have received irregular benefits in the form of monetary transfers from the criminal group", announced the Special Prosecutor's Office.

From the checks carried out during the police operation, where a large number of forces were engaged, in addition to several weapons and various documents, high monetary values ??were seized, amounting to more than 1 million euros.

Albania is considered part of the "Balkan Route" that migrants, mainly from the Middle East, travel to arrive illegally in the countries of the European Union. During the past year, the number of irregular migrants came down to less than nine thousand, influenced by the decline of crossings through the Western Balkans.

According to the European Border Protection Agency, FRONTEX, the flow of irregular migrants in the Western Balkans during 2023 was 31 percent lower compared to 2022. Since 2019, Frontex has been part of the patrolling of the Albanian-Greek border with the Albanian border police with around 162 officers.

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