OCG dealing with trafficking of migrants dismantled

 Joint investigation code-named MIRAGE was initiated in 2022, concerning an organized crime group (OCG) formed by Moldovan and Romanian nationals involved in criminal scheme of trafficking of migrants. It was revealed that from 2019 until now, the OCG smuggled over 100 migrants to the Schengen Area.

After exchanging information within operational meetings organized under SELEC’s umbrella and with the support of Eurojust, the Romanian and Moldovan authorities set up a joint investigation team (JIT) to expose the OCG. The suspects included over 20 Romanian and Moldovan citizens organized in a criminal structure on hierarchical levels, acting on the territories of Romania and Republic of Moldova with the aim of committing the crime of migrant trafficking.

During the action days that took place on 16 May in Republic of Moldova and on 27 May 2024 in Romania, the law enforcement authorities were able to conduct 18 house searches, both on the territory of Republic of Moldova and Romania, and perform multiple interrogations of suspects, followed by the arrest of four drivers and their leader.

It was found out that members of the crime group purchased large-capacity vehicles to transport people originating from Afro-Asian countries across state borders to Western European countries.

The investigations carried out revealed that the suspects claimed and received for each migrant amounts ranging between 3,000 – 5,000 euros, depending on the financial possibilities of the transported person and the country where the persons intended to arrive.

The routes followed by the members of the organized crime group to transport the migrants in Western European countries were: Greece – Bulgaria – Romania – Hungary – Austria, Greece – Bulgaria – Serbia or Croatia – Hungary – Austria.

Following the searches, means of communication, documents and other evidence were identified and seized.