An alleged smuggler kingpin who was head of a trafficking ring that brought tens of thousands of illegals to Europe and made millions of pounds doing it has been arrested in Liverpool.
Living at taxpayer’s expense, 26-year-old Jamal Owda was operating his illicit business empire out of a government asylum hostel near Liverpool. Despite officially existing as a ‘Palestinian’ refugee surviving on government handouts of £36.95 a week, Mr. Owda never travelled anywhere except by taxi, was observed always to have plenty of money to throw around, and regularly took Russian and Eastern European prostitutes back to his private room at the hostel, enjoying their company for hours at a time.
Now Mr. Owda has been arrested as part of a large anti-smuggling operation that has involved officers in countries across Europe. It is alleged that the man was the kingpin of an international smuggling network that brought a remarkable 100 migrants a day into Europe through Greece.
Running the operation for almost a year and a half, the gang is thought to have brought some 50,000 illegals to countries like Germany, Sweden, France, and Britain. Charging at least £1,000 a head for passage, it is thought the ring cleared £7 million profit, reports the Daily Mail.
The accused migrant will now be sent to Greece to face a potential 20 years in prison, but his lawyer has promised to fight the extradition, claiming the conditions in Greek prisons will breach his client’s human rights.
Although the 100 migrants a day Mr. Owda’s gang is thought to be responsible for is comparatively small compared to the thousands who flood through the gates of Europe, it does show the remarkable power smugglers have to exacerbate the crisis.
Requiring illegals to pay up-front, smugglers use the cheapest boats they can find to ferry their charges from Turkey to Greece. The craft are very often unseaworthy, but if migrants refuse to board out of concern for their own safety they lose their money.
This has led to a situation this year where thousands have drowned as their boats foundered in the Mediterranean and Aegean.
It is not presently known whether any of Mr. Owda’s ‘customers’ are among the drowned.
As well as presenting Europe with an enormous humanitarian crisis and social cost, the Europe migrant crisis also has a serious security dimension, fuelled by smugglers like Mr. Owda. The Paris attacks of last month have proven the claims by some that organisations like Islamic State are taking advantage of the migrant crisis to smuggle fighters and agents into Europe, using the lack of border control to their advantage.
It was revealed soon after the high casualty attacks that the ringleaders smuggled themselves into Europe while posing as refugees using the unprotected borders in south eastern Europe through Greece and the Balkans. It is now thought they recruited other killers in Hungary, which was at the time a main thoroughfare for migrants travelling north.
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