Five Greek Border Police Involved in Migrant Smuggling Ring. PHOTO/Reuters
ATHENA – Five Border Police personnel Greece was indicted on Tuesday (30/5/2023) as a suspected accomplice to a human smuggling network. The network is known to illegally bring migrants to Greece from Turki .
As AFP reported, the five personnel appeared before a prosecutor in the northeastern town of Orestiada. They appeared before prosecutors a day after the Internal Affairs Division of the Greek Police said they had been arrested on suspicion of accepting bribes and breach of duty.
They are accused of helping to smuggle an unknown number of migrants at least 12 times in the Didymoteicho area in northeastern Greece, police said in a statement.
“Investigations so far have shown that officers have been in contact with networks operating in neighboring countries since at least October, and allegedly committed acts or omissions aimed at facilitating the entry of (non-EU) nationals into our country,” said a Greek Police statement.
“Evidence related to the case includes nearly 60 mobile phones, Turkish lira and banknotes from a number of Asian countries,” the statement continued.
Thousands of migrants, mainly from Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan, have in recent years crossed into Greece from Turkiye in hopes of making their way to Western Europe.
With increased patrols in the Aegean Sea making it harder for migrants to reach the Greek islands, more are taking the opportunity to cross the Evros River, Greece’s natural border with Turkey.
Athens has decided to extend 35 kilometers (22 miles) of steel fence five meters high which runs along the river. The fence is currently 38 kilometers long, and Athens aims to have it extended within a year, adding a total of 100 kilometers by 2026.