14.2. Case examples illustrating Eurojust’s work on migrant smuggling

Migrant smuggling with luxury vehicles in Greece halted with Eurojust support

Crime: For at least two years, an OCG transported approximately 350 migrants within Greece, during 56 transfers and using 89 luxury cars and high-speed pickup trucks. Migrants were asked to pay around EUR 2 500 per person, with up to 15 persons transported in each vehicle during the high-risk journeys, which led to the death of 1 smuggler and 13 injured migrants

Action: An action day was organised in July 2021, involving 15 searches.

Result: 11 suspects responsible for the transport of irregular migrants from the Greek-Turkish border in Evros to the Thessaloniki region, were arrested. 29 vehicles were seized, together with computer and GPS equipment, mobile phones, financial documents, cash and a mining tool for bitcoins.

Eurojust's role: Eurojust set up the first-ever JIT between Greek and Bulgarian judicial and law enforcement authorities to support this case. The Agency organised three coordination meetings to establish effective cooperation in both countries, and provided organisational support to the Hellenic police, which led the operation on the ground.

Flags of Greece and Bulgaria, plus the logos of Europol and Eurojust

People smuggling network in Netherlands and Hungary dismantled

Crime: In 2021, a people-smuggling network operating in the Netherlands and Hungary organised the transfer of irregular Syrian migrants from the Hungarian-Serbian border into the European Union.

Joint Investigation Teams - Funded by Eurojust

Action: An action day was organised on 1 November 2021.

Result: During the action day, the Dutch authorities arrested the two main suspects who had hired two drivers that were arrested earlier in the year. The criminals were also allegedly involved in the hiring of four other drivers that were arrested previously in Hungary, Germany and Austria for people smuggling.

Eurojust's role: The JIT, set up by the Dutch and Hungarian judicial authorities and supported by Eurojust, linked the various arrests to the two main suspects, enabling the migrant smuggling network to be dismantled. Eurojust enabled cross-border judicial cooperation between the Dutch and Hungarian authorities and organised a coordination meeting to prepare the operation.

Flags of the Netherlands and Hungary, logo of Eurojust