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Criminal network believed behind human smuggling

The Finnish Border Guard has wrapped up a preliminary investigation into a human smuggling case in which 68 people were brought into the country illegally. The multi-national criminal network believed responsible is thought to have members in Finland, Sweden, Germany and Austria.

Tupakkaringistä löytyi vielä varvassandaaleissakin matkaava.
Image: Yle / Anne Rahjola

Authorities say that the network operates in a number of countries. The individuals smuggled into Finland were brought via Sweden, either by ship from Stockholm or by car through Tornio, paying large sums to the human smugglers. Four people are under arrest.

The 68 people brought into the country by the network between October 2014 and September 2015 have all filed for asylum. Investigators say that there are indications that more than 100 people were smuggled into Finland by the network, but not enough evidence has yet been gathered to confirm this.

Most of those smuggled into Finland came on a route from Austria, through Germany and Sweden.

The network investigated by the Finnish Border Guard was found to have cooperated with human smuggles in Iraq, Turkey and Greece.

Finnish authorities took six people into custody during the preliminary investigation, four of whom are still in custody. The case has now been turned over to the Helsinki which is considering formal charges against 18 suspects.

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