More than 200 people suspected of belonging to the people-smugglers gang have been arrested in five European countries. This was announced by the Austrian Interior Minister, Gerhard Karner, in Vienna, Thursday.
Authorities in Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Romania have arrested a total of 205 suspected gang members. It specialized in smuggling Syrian refugees to Germany, France, Belgium and the Netherlands.
The gang is suspected of smuggling more than 36,100 people across the border since early last year. Vienna could have been the center of their activities.
It is suspected that the gang raised more than 152 million euros. The suspected gang leader is a 28-year-old Romanian imprisoned in Romania since May 4.
Austrian police also found some workshops in and around Vienna where cars were diverted to smuggle people. It is believed that about 80 cars were seized.
In October last year, two bodies were found in a car carrying about 30 people in Austria, on the border with Hungary. Austrian police said the suspected gang leader carried out the transfer. Another suspected gang was arrested in Latvia. Another suspect, who shot at Austrian security services in January, was said to have been arrested in Hungary.
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