Organized crime group dealing with the illegal transportation of migrants dismantled

On 19.04.2022 Moldovan and Romanian authorities initiated an action day in a SELEC-coordinated joint investigation code-named “NALUCA”, operation related to an organized crime group that was involved in migrant smuggling. During the operational procedures, 11 suspects were detained, 26 vehicles were seized and 66 locations were searched in Republic of Moldova. According to the initial data this organized crime group had been illegally transferring migrants, mainly of Asian origin, to Austria and Germany, via Republic of Moldova and Romania, since 2021.

The organized crime group was organized in clusters, part of which was assigned to Republic of Turkey where its members identified and recruited most of the migrants destined for Western Europe. The migrants were transported in small groups of six to ten people in modified vans with hidden compartments specially arranged for their concealment. The criminal group often used additional vehicles as forerunners, to prevent the transports from being discovered.

A total of 16 transports were documented on the Romanian territory, being detected approximately 100 migrants.

The migrants’ transportation was carried out with the help of people present in the vans, who had the role of misleading authorities, by simulating real transport of people and goods.

The proceeds from this illegal activity were invested by the members of the organized crime group in luxury items, cars and real estate.

SELEC actively supported the cross-border Police cooperation between the national authorities, offering the platform for the fast exchange of information and organizing the necessary operational meetings.