Greece: five border police charged with migrant smuggling

Greece: Five border police charged with migrant smuggling


Five border police officers in Greece were charged on Tuesday with alleged complicity with a network that smuggled migrants into the country from Turkey. 

The five police officers were presented to the prosecutor's office in the city of Orestiada (Northeast), the day after the announcement by the internal affairs division of the police of their arrest on suspicion of having received bribes. wine and failure to fulfill their obligations.

They are accused of helping to smuggle an unknown number of migrants into Greece on at least twelve occasions in the region of Didymoteicho (northeast), according to a statement from the police.

“According to the first elements of the investigation, the police have been in contact with networks in Turkey since October at least and they would have carried out actions or omissions aimed at facilitating the entry of (non-European) nationals into our country. “, adds the press release.

Sixty mobile phones, Turkish liras and banknotes from several Asian countries were found, said the police.

Thousands of migrants, mainly from Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan, have arrived in Greece from Turkey in recent years in the hope of entering Western Europe.

The increase in patrols in The Aegean Sea makes it more difficult for migrants to access the Greek islands and more and more of them try to cross the Evros, the river separating Turkey from Greece, only to be taken by smugglers by road.

Athens has decided to extend this five-meter-high metal fence that runs along the Evros by 35 km within a year.

The fence is currently 37.5 km, according to government data, which aims to extend it by an additional 100 km by 2026.