According to the press release, the criminal network is mostly comprised of Lebanese nationals who are suspected of smuggling 29 Syrians into Germany via Hungary and Austria since June 2016.
“On 5 January 2017, the German Federal Police conducted several house searches in Berlin and executed two arrest warrants in Moenchengladbach and in Germany’s capital city. At the same time, Italian authorities arrested a suspect in Bolzano (Italy),” Europol said in the press release.
In November, Austrian authorizes were successful in dismantling a Vienna-based criminal cell thought to be in close connection with the German network, the release added.
According to Europol, more than 90 percent of migrants coming to the European Union are facilitated by members of a criminal network. The law enforcement group also noted that that migrant smuggling is an attractive and low-risk crime, which had an estimated average yearly turnover of $5-6 billion in 2015.