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Three suspected of arranging Afghans' illegal entry to Germany and Finland

The Coast Guard launched the probe when it found an asylum seeker in Turku who had been brought to Finland illegally.

Rajavartiolaitoksen pakettiauto
The Western Finland Coast Guard, which operates as part of the Border Guard, uncovered the suspected human smuggling last year (file photo of Border Guard van). Image: Amanda Vikman / Yle
Yle News

The Turku Crime Prevention Unit of the Western Finland Coast Guard has completed a preliminary investigation into an international criminal group suspected of illegally bringing 12 Afghan citizens to Finland or to Germany via Finland.

One person is suspected of transporting people by plane from Athens to Lappeenranta, eastern Finland, and onward through Helsinki Airport to Berlin. The suspect has been imprisoned in Austria for similar crimes and is also suspected of crimes in Germany.

According to the preliminary investigation, the suspect was generally paid 3,000 euros for false documents and flight tickets. Finnish authorities have interrogated the suspected ringleader remotely in Austria.

Names of other 2 suspects uncertain

In addition to the main suspect, investigators allege that at least two other individuals were involved in the scheme. They are currently known to be abroad. According to the head of the investigation, their apparent names are known but there is some uncertainty about them.

The investigation was launched in February 2020, when the Coast Guard's Turku Crime Prevention Unit found an asylum seeker who was among those brought illicitly into Finland. The asylum seeker is not in detention.

The case, which was investigated as aggravated organisation of illegal immigration, has been handed over to the Prosecution District of Southern Finland for further action.

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