Finnish Border Guard Bust Middle Eastern Illegal Migrant Network

The fire car with a blue light and a police car on the street in Finland.
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The Border Guard in Finland revealed a major operation against a network suspected of aiding illegal migration by Middle Eastern migrants.

The Finnish Border Guard say they apprehended several suspects and made seizures and raids of various homes in the city of Lahti.

According to a report from Finland’s public broadcaster Yle, the members of the network are believed to have helped facilitate illegal migration into the county over the last year.

However, investigators did not detail how many people were arrested, noting only that the number was fewer than ten. They also did not comment on the nationality of those detained, but confirmed all the suspects have permanent residency in Finland and that the migrants smuggled into Finland were primarily from the Middle East.

The migrants believed to have entered the country at several different locations, including the land border in south-east Finland and by air to the Helsinki area.

Investigation Director Antti Leskela said the smuggling of illegals was not related to forced human trafficking, saying: “Of course, in such a situation, it is taken into account, but from the point of view of the investigation, there is no real reason to suspect human trafficking.”

The raids come just weeks after it was revealed that Finland saw a record number of people seeking help over human trafficking issues in 2020, most of which involved trafficking victims forced to work in various industries.

Terhi Tafari, a senior advisor at the anti-trafficking centre, claimed that potentially thousands of people had been brought to Finland for forced labour.

In recent months, several other migrant trafficking networks have been dismantled, including a large network in France that was believed to have played a major part in illegal crossings across the English Channel last year.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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