NEWS

‘Migrant smuggler’ arrest points to bigger racket

migrant-smuggler-arrest-points-to-bigger-racket

Greek intelligence and counterterror authorities had been keeping a close eye on a 39-year-old Iraqi suspected of large-scale migrant smuggling before the official launch of the operation against him earlier this month, Kathimerini has learned.

According to court records, Thakir M. had been flagged as a person of interest in early November, possibly following a tip-off from foreign intelligence services.

He was arrested after several weeks of surveillance, and a search of his downtown Athens home turned up around 800 stolen or forged European Union passports, ID cards and driver’s licenses. It was the biggest haul ever made in Greece of illegal travel documents, the court records show.

The 39-year-old has reportedly confessed to being part of a migrant smuggling racket and is cooperating with the authorities, claiming that the gang is run by an Algerian man in France. He has been released on bail.