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German, Italian police arrest syndicate members for migrant smuggling

German, Italian police arrest syndicate members for migrant smuggling

BERLIN: Individuals suspected of being affiliated with a criminal network involved in the smuggling and trafficking of Syrian migrants have been arrested by police in both Germany and Italy, EU law enforcement said in a press release Monday.

According to the press release, the criminal network is mostly comprised of Lebanese nationals who are suspected of smuggling 29 Syrians into Germany via Hungary and Austria since June 2016.

At the same time, Italian authorities arrested a suspect in Bolzano (Italy),” Europol said in the press release. In November, Austrian authorizes were successful in dismantling a Vienna-based criminal cell thought to be in close connection with the German network, the release added.

According to Europol, more than 90 percent of migrants coming to the European Union are facilitated by members of a criminal network. The law enforcement group also noted that that migrant smuggling is an attractive and low-risk crime, which had an estimated average yearly turnover of $5-6 billion in 2015.