ATHENS – Athens Airport Police have dismantled an international criminal organisation that illegally transferred foreign nationals to Greece and facilitated their departure to other countries via Athens Airport, supplying them with the necessary travel documents.
In a large scale police operation on Tuesday, 20 December, in several parts of the regions of Attica and Thessaloniki, a total of 18 individuals were arrested as suspected members of the criminal organisation, including the alleged leader of the ring, while 13 undocumented migrants were found and processes were launched for their deportation. A foreign national with an outstanding warrant of a charge of rape was also arrested.
According to the police, the members of the ring collected migrants that illegally entered the country, mostly from forests in the Evros region, using rented cars or stolen or company vehicles and transferred them either directly to safe houses in Thessaloniki or to an area of forest. Afterwards, the traffickers used vehicles with foreign number plates to transfer them to safe houses in Athens, where they supplied them with the necessary travel documents, either fake or original, with which they sought, via Athens Airport, to travel to Europe.
In raids on houses and businesses, police found and confiscated 12 company vehicles, 136 travel documents, of which 110 were original, 48,020 euros cash, 69 mobile phones, a money-counting machine and 61 grams of crystal meth.
The arrest individuals will be sent before a public prosecutor.