Poland dismantles a gang that trafficked migrants from Belarus to Germany | International

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The Polish authorities, in collaboration with Europol, have dismantled an international organization that was transporting people illegally from the Polish-Belarusian border to Germany. The Polish National Prosecutor’s Office has reported this Friday that, since Tuesday, 20 people have been arrested accused of being part of this criminal gang based in Poland and contacts in Germany, whose purpose was to introduce irregular migrants into Polish territory -country member of the European Union – to then drive them to German soil.

According to information provided by the prosecutor’s office of the city of Zamosc (eastern Poland), since the organization began operating in September 2021, it has obtained 8.7 million euros, half of which was to the so-called “messengers” – people in charge of transporting migrants to Germany. According to the investigations of the Polish Public Ministry, the gang used as collaborators residents of Polish towns bordering Belarus, who provided them with information about police surveillance in exchange for money.

Before being transferred to Germany, and after paying between 3,000 and 6,000 euros per person, the migrants were taken to flats controlled by the gang in the Polish cities of Warsaw, Lodz, and Wroclaw. At the time of their arrest, the nine main leaders of the criminal organization had in their possession about 140,000 euros in different currencies.

Since September 2021, an unknown number of people, estimated by the Polish Border Guard to be more than 40,000, have tried to cross irregularly into Poland from Belarus. The crisis was described by the Government of Poland as a “hybrid war”, instigated by the regime of President Aleksandr Lukashenko from the neighboring country. Following the influx of thousands of migrants on the borders between the two countries, Warsaw declared a state of emergency on its border with Belarus from October to December 2021, before amending a law to allow the interior minister to extend access restrictions indefinitely. to the border area without the need to extend this extraordinary measure. The country still prevents the entry and transit through the border area to people who are not residents of the more than 200 surrounding towns, a veto that has been extended to journalists and humanitarian organizations.

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This situation has provoked criticism from independent organizations, such as Doctors Without Borders, which announced a few days ago that it will stop operating there due to these difficulties. Despite this, the Polish government maintains some 15,000 troops deployed on the border and plans to conclude by the middle of this year the construction of a border wall of more than 200 kilometers, equipped with electronic surveillance measures, to prevent the infiltration of migrants in situation irregular.

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