Migrant smuggling network in France and Italy busted

12 December 2019
News Article
Press Release/News
The criminal network transported Bangladeshi, Indian and Pakistani irregular migrants from Italy to other EU countries

Law enforcement authorities from France and Italy, supported by Europol and Eurojust, have dismantled a large organised crime group smuggling migrants from Italy via France and Germany towards other European countries.

On the action day, law enforcement authorities carried out a number of house searches and arrested 11 Pakistani nationals (10 in Italy and 1 in France) suspected of being members of the criminal network. 

Active for the past two years, the network transported Bangladeshi, Indian and Pakistani irregular migrants from northern Italy to western Europe in vans. 

The joint operation was triggered by parallel investigations in France and Italy into the activities of the same organised criminal network. The cross-checking of operational data through Europol’s databases brought together these investigations which were looking into the same suspects located mainly in France and Italy. 

Europol supported the investigation with operational analysis and facilitated the information exchange. Europol deployed one expert to Turin, Italy to cross-check operational information against Europol’s databases in real time, provide technical expertise and support actions in the field. 

EMPACT In 2010 the European Union set up a four-year Policy Cycle to ensure greater continuity in the fight against serious international and organised crime. In March 2017 the Council of the EU decided to continue the EU Policy Cycle for organised and serious international crime for the 2018 - 2021 period. This multiannual Policy Cycle aims to tackle the most significant threats posed by organised and serious international crime to the EU in a coherent and methodological manner. This is achieved by improving and strengthening cooperation between the relevant services of EU Member States, institutions and agencies, as well as non-EU countries and organisations, including the private sector where relevant. Migrant smuggling is one of the priorities for the Policy Cycle.