ZAGREB, July 23, 2020 — Five Croatia migrant smugglers face charges for smuggling illegal migrants from Bosnia and Herzegovina to Croatia, and then from Croatia to Slovenia and Italy.
Four Croatian migrant smugglers and a citizen of North Macedonia, face charges for operating a criminal association for smuggling migrants. According to USKOK, their criminal association operated in Pojatno, Sesvete and Zagreb from October 4 to December 29, 2019. One charged migrants 500 EUR per person; another 1000 EUR.
Migrant Smugglers Used Abandoned Buildings
One of the migrant smugglers charged 500 EUR per person for services; another 1,000 EUR. As Ivana Jakelić/Večernji list reports, they operated a well-planned network within Croatia and Bosnia. Members transported migrants to an unfinished hospital in Zagreb’s Blato neighborhood or to an abandoned warehouse near Pojatno. They hid them there before taking them further and the defendants’ own “patrols” made sure that everything ran smoothly.
Croatia-based migrant smugglers use a well-established transport system. With migrants hidden in vehicles, they follow guides, who check ahead for police patrols. The defendants face charges for smuggling 107 illegals from Croatia to Slovenia at least 13 times for a total of 66,500 EUR.
Well Established Migrant Transport Network
Three migrant smugglers also face charges for illegally transferring 12 foreign nationals from Croatia to Slovenia from October 29 to November 2, 2019 for 1,000 EUR per person. They housed migrants in a Zagreb hostel. Then a guide led them across the border by foot. In October 2019, a few defendants also smuggled 12 illegals from Bosnia and Hercegovina to Croatia. First, they picked up migrants in private vehicles near Miholjski. Then, they drove them to an abandoned warehouse near the shopping center in Pojatno. Migrants stayed there temporarily while awaiting transport to Slovenia and Italy.
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