Police carry out Europe-wide raids targeting human trafficking | News | DW


The European law enforcement agency, Europol, announced on Tuesday the arrest of around 130 suspects during a massive operation targeting human trafficking.

Police officers from 22 countries participated in the joint operation which also identified 60 new suspects, Europol said in a statement.

The agency said more than 22,480 law enforcement officers were involved in what it called “days of action”, during which checks were carried out at sea, land and air borders, especially on the widely used routes to Europe. During the days of the operation, approximately 13,500 locations and nearly one million people were checked.

German police take part in EU-wide operation

German police were among the law enforcement agencies involved and launched a “wide-ranging operation” early Tuesday morning in the “fight against human trafficking”, according to a police statement.

Raids by hundreds of officers took place in several German states, including Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Bremen and Baden-Württemberg.

Osnabrück police said the search focused in and around the northwestern city, as well as in Bremen, also in the north, and Baden-Württemberg state capital Stuttgart, in southwestern Germany.

Police said they seized property and made arrests during the large-scale operation

British, Belgian, French and Dutch police were also involved, the statement said.

A police spokeswoman in Osnabrück told DW that the operation involved international smuggling efforts and that it was “not wrong” to suggest it was linked to the smuggling of people from across the English Channel, as previously reported in local media.

Osnabrück police said the operation was carried out in coordination with Europol and Eurojust, the European Criminal Justice Agency.

Notorious Channel route for human trafficking

In November last year, French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin asked for help from the UK, Belgium and Germany to “fight human traffickers”.

His comments came after a boat capsized in the English Channel killing 27 people trying to reach Britain.

Five suspected smugglers were thus arrested, one of them having a car registered in Germany. Darmanin went on to say, with France facing pressure from Britain at the time, that many smuggling activities were actually rooted in France’s Western European neighbors.

Edited by: Mark Hallam.


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