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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

The police detained a Syrian who directed the transfer of immigrants across the Polish-Belarusian border

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The Polish Border Guard dismantled an international criminal group involved in organizing the transfer of people from Syria and Iraq to Belarus and then to Poland. The gang's leader, Ahmad R., has just been arrested in Germany. As the investigation showed, huge funds were divided not only among group members, but were sent to the accounts of well-known terrorist organizations.

For three years he was wanted all over the world. He often changed places of stay. To a large extent, Ahmad R. is responsible for what happened on the border between Poland and Belarus. – He was involved in smuggling almost 3.5 thousand immigrants – informs the Border Guard operational officer anonymously.

A few days ago, the Polish Border Guard tracked down a 33-year-old Syrian in Germany and detained him with the help of the German police. – This is a very important character. He is credited with being the founder of this criminal group. He also acted as the person responsible for financial settlements – says Col. Arkadiusz Olejnik, deputy director of the Operational and Investigation Directorate of the Border Guard Headquarters.

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We managed to reach him thanks to unraveling financial connections. The sums he dealt with were enormous. – It has been confirmed that the group, as part of its activities, transferred funds in cryptocurrencies of approximately USD 580 million – informs Olejnik.

Border Guard officers busted an organized group of people smugglersThe Bug River Branch of the Border Guard

He financed terrorist organizations

Ahmad R. created and led one of the largest criminal groups on the eastern border of the Union. He recruited people willing to come to Europe illegally mainly in Syria and Iraq. Immigrants were transferred to Poland via Turkey, Russia and Belarus.

– Depending on the length of the route and means of communication, the amounts were up to USD 30,000 per person – says an anonymous operations officer of the Border Guard.

As the investigation showed, the gang leader divided huge funds not only among the group members, but also sent them to the accounts of well-known terrorist organizations. – Both Hezbollah and jihad were financed – indicates the Border Guard operational officer. – Amounts of approximately $30 million were transferred to these accounts, which were confirmed by the Israeli services, adds Olejnik.

READ MORE ON TVN24.PL: Crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border

Thanks to the arrest of the gang leader and the earlier dismantling of the group, terrorist organizations will no longer be financed by smuggling people across the Polish border.

– This is a big issue not only from Poland's point of view. This is a very important element. This is a big issue from the point of view of the European Union's security, emphasizes Seweryn Stopa, head of the Center for Combating Illegal Migration at Europol.

– The prosecutor has collected material allowing the suspect to be charged with leading a criminal group, organizing illegal border crossing and financing terrorism – informs Przemysław Nowak from the National Prosecutor's Office.

The Polish prosecutor's office has started the procedure of extraditing a Syrian from Germany to Poland to be tried in a Polish court.

Main photo source: border guards



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