Germany: Major nationwide raids target human smuggling ring | News | DW | 08.12.2021

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Germany: Major nationwide raids target human smuggling ring

The German federal police said they arrested 10 suspects over alleged involvement in the smuggling of foreign workers into Germany. Authorities are seizing assets worth more than €19 million.

A file photo of a police officer and a police vehicle pictured in Brandenburg

Police searched dozens of premises across Germany

German authorities on Wednesday raided several premises allegedly linked to a suspected people-smuggling network, a police spokesperson said. 

Authorities have arrested nine men and one woman in the raids and are seizing assets worth more than €19 million ($21.5 million), the federal police said in a statement. 

The German federal police and customs authorities carried out the raids, mainly in Berlin and Brandenburg, west of the capital. A special anti-terrorism unit was also deployed, according to the German daily Die Welt

Around 1,000 officers were deployed for the raids, the German news agency dpa reported. 

Suspected human trafficking ring

Wednesday's raids are linked to around 20 people suspected of organized crime, including forging official documents, human trafficking and illegal employment, according to the police. 

A network of temporary employment agencies in the Balkans and in Germany allegedly brought workers from non-EU countries, forged identity documents for them and placed them in large German logistics companies, the police statement said.

Across 12 German states, police searched over 50 premises, including logistics centers linked to the investigation, the suspects' apartments and the accommodation of the temporary workers.

fb/sms (dpa, ARD, AP)