Police busts major human trafficking gang based in Athens

The police announced that it successfully conducted an operation which resulted in the bust of a trafficking gang. The gang primarily trafficked people…

The police announced that it successfully conducted an operation which resulted in the bust of a trafficking gang. The gang primarily trafficked people to the USA, Canada, UK and Australia.

The police operation which took place in various areas of Athens including the Athens International Airport on Saturday resulted in six arrests – four Greek men aged 41, 28, 25 and 38 and two foreign nationals aged 26 and 31 – while four more members of the gang are still at large.

The 41-year-old Greek man, who was based in Larissa, is believed to have been the head of the gang, while the 38-year-old is a police sergeant at the Agios Panteleimonas department in Athens. The 26-year-old Albanian man was ready to travel illegally to the UK.

During investigations the police recovered multiple original and counterfeit documents and certificates (including identity cards), stamps, computers, printers, three cars and a motorcycle, two pistols (one of which had a suppressor), a pen gun and various rounds of ammunition.

It appears that the trafficking gang had been in operation since 2010 and is likely behind 53 cases of trafficking 96 migrants abroad. Initially the gang adulterated original travel documents and identity cards, which they would often buy from Greeks, who would later report them as lost or stolen to avoid suspicion. The police noted that the investigation revealed cases of family members regularly declaring their passports having been stolen.

According to the police report the gang managed to generate over 3,000,000 euros, which was gradually saved and exported to the USA. The arrested police sergeant appears to have been advising the gang on regarding identity card theft and received 2,000 to 3,000 euros for each ID card he issued.

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