A gang of human traffickers that aided migrants in crossing the Greek-Turkish border was dismantled with the arrest of nine members of the trafficking network.
The police mounted an operation, code-named “Riviera,” to disrupt the network, which was notorious for its brutality toward the migrants in order to extract additional money from them.
The operation was concluded on January 20. The smugglers were Kurds and Pakistanis, but also used Albanian getaway drivers for their fleet of 130 cars.
In order to avoid police roadblocks, after crossing the River Evros into Greece, the smugglers walked with their charges for two or three days along difficult mountain paths until they crossed into the regional unit of Rodopi. There, the drivers were waiting to take them to Athens or Thessaloniki.
Migrants were charged €900-€2,500 per person to be smuggled into Greece.