Large-scale police operations across Europe are resulting in hundreds of people smuggler arrests, the main engine of suffering and the migrant crisis, which is placing national justice systems under enormous strain.
Germany’s BILD tabloid reported yesterday on one criminal German-Turk gang, broken up in the early hours of the morning by police and customs officers at Frankfurt airport. The “Mafia” gang was using illegal workers at the airport and laundered millions of euros using false invoices, and the operation led to the arrests of three German and three Turk citizens.
A small number of arrests perhaps for a major operation, but their gang is just a small part of a vast network of criminal smugglers who are at least partly responsible for the 506,000 unauthorised border crossings at Europe’s outer edges so far this year. The figure comes from the Federal Intelligence service report, which as related by Focus.de states the majority of these illegal crossings were made to Greece and through the Balkans and were made by Syrians.
So far, the number of journeys made by migrants and refugees by way of the Balkans is up 1,300 per cent on 2014.
The efforts of European law enforcement agencies have reaped a harvest of incarcerated people smugglers, but no downturn in the number of people being smuggled. As Breitbart London reported last week, a clear pattern is emerging where migrants arriving in the first world turn their energy to highly rewarding employment in an industry they have recent experience – people smuggling. One British smuggling kingpin was taken down by police with £50,000 in the boot of his car, having arrived in the UK a penniless refugee from Iraq. He was holding a number of Indians hostage at a location in London to ransom at the time of his arrest.
This surplus of people smugglers, who as well as stoking the European migrant crisis are also inflicting terrible suffering on those they conduct, are quickly filling up Europe’s jails. TheLocal.at reports of the extraordinary overcrowding in Austria’s prisons thanks to the number of smugglers presently awaiting trial, with 534 people on charges of people smuggling.
The Austrian prison closest to the Hungarian border is now so overcrowded one wing, which was built to accommodate 78, holds 120 prisoners. At another prison, only three of 114 prisoners can speak German. One prison warden said of the conditions: “The situation is quite challenging”.