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Raid against alleged smuggling network in Essen


In a large-scale raid against a suspected smuggling network, the federal police arrested one person. The officials determined in several German cities and abroad. Money and vehicles were also confiscated.

In Essen, the federal police arrested a man during an operation against a suspected international smuggling network. The 38-year-old Syrian was arrested in the morning, according to a federal police spokesman. There were further searches in Nauen in Brandenburg and in Regensburg in Bavaria.

According to the authorities, four other suspects were arrested in Romania, in western Timisoara. In addition, a person was arrested in Bulgaria last week.

human smuggling via the Balkan route?

The accused are suspected of having smuggled Turkish and Syrian nationals from Turkey to Romania and Germany. The migrants are said to have been smuggled in trucks over days of journeys via the so-called Balkan route under inhumane conditions. More than 300 people were brought to Romania, at least 560 to Germany.

High-quality cars, cell phones, cash and other evidence were also seized during the raids. The smugglers are said to have demanded up to 5,000 euros for the transport from Romania and up to 10,000 euros for a trip from Turkey to the European Union.

International investigative group searches

As part of their own investigations, the Serbian police arrested a suspected smuggler in July 2022. In December, an international investigative group was formed with German, Serbian and Romanian participation.

In this case, the federal police are also working together with the police in Austria and with Europol. 197 emergency services in Germany and Romania were involved in the raid on Wednesday morning.