Slovak Police Break Up Our Gangs Of People Smugglers


Czech News Agency
October 10, 2006 Tuesday

Bratislava, Oct 10 (CTK) – The Slovak police have broken up four
groups of people smugglers at various places in Slovakia since the
beginning of September, police vice-president Michal Kopcik told
reporters today. One of the groups also operated in the neighbouring
Czech Republic and Austria and its members helped refugees from local
asylum camps cross the border westwards, Kopcik said.

The police have accused more than 30 people, including foreigners.

Some of them face up to ten years in prison, if found guilty. The
leader of the group that smuggled illegal migrants further to western
Europe was a Georgian who has applied for asylum in Slovakia. The
10-member group reportedly escorted at least a hundred people
across the green border. Three of the ten accused have been taken
into custody. Another gang’s operation was broken up in the regions
of Bratislava and Presov, east Slovakia. In this case, the gang’s
12 accused members include two Vietnamese with a permanent stay in
Slovakia, another two with a permanent stay in the Czech Republic,
and one Czech. The gang smuggled at least 350 people, mostly of Asian
origin, and earner almost 6 million crowns, Kopcik said. The third
gang, broken up in east Slovakia, has smuggled at least 164 people,
mainly Moldovans and Chinese, to Slovakia from Ukraine. The gang
has also secured the illegal migrants’ escort across Slovakia. The
last gang was caught smuggling mainly citizens of former Soviet
Union countries across the border with Ukraine and Hungary. The six
accused include two Armenians and an Indian. ($1=29.386 Slovak crowns)