NEWS

Europol chief: About 30,000 suspected of trafficking to EU

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There may be at least 30,000 people involved in trafficking migrants and refugees to Europe, the head of the European Union’s police office has told Kathimerini.

In an interview following his recent visit to Athens and Kos, Europol director Rob Wainwright said that there had been a marked increase in the number of smuggling networks, with 30,000 suspects being recorded by authorities this year alone.

Wainwright said that the gangs usually consist of low-level criminals from Syria, Turkey, Iraq and Greece. He said that 16 Syrians and Egyptians arrested in Athens in March had made 7.5 million euros from trafficking people.

Wainwright added that the gangs are often involved in other types of smuggling, such as arms and drugs.

He said that there is a prompt exchange of information between Greek authorities and Europol, which has made their investigations more effective.