On two islands in the eastern Aegean Sea, Greek Police has cracked down illegal networks that were earning money from asylum seekers facilitating them either to fly to European countries or to be relocated to the mainland.
On the island of Samos, it was doctors, nurses and other personnel that would issue false medical invalidity reports.
On the island of Kos, a gang would provide a asylum seekers with false documents so that they could travel to European countries. Among the arrested on Kos is also a police officers assigned to the airport of the island.
Several doctors and nurses as well as one translator have been reportedly arrested at the Hospital of Samos on Wednesday morning.
The arrestees are accused of having provided to asylum seekers false medical reports so that they become part of the vulnerable people categories that would allow them to join the relevant program and be relocated from the island to the rest of the Greek mainland.
The false medical reports would be issued against a sum of money.
Speaking to a local radio, the governor of the General Hospital of Samos, Lazaros Theofilos said that “about two-and-a-half months ago, the legal department detected fake, non-original medical reports.” Last week, it was the loss of a doctor’s stamp was discovered, increasing suspicion that a gang was behind the false medical certifications.
So far, there is no official statement by the Greek Police, according to media, six doctors, two nurses and two citizens, one of them a translator, have been arrested.
Four Greeks and two foreign nationals were arrested on the island of Kos on July 12, 2019, for facilitating the illegal departure of migrants through the airport of the island with destination several European countries.
Among the arrested is the 36-year-old head of the criminal gang as well as one police officer assign at the airport.
The police officer had a crucial role in the trafficking as he was the one who would arrange the illegal departures according to his shift schedules and would turn a blind eye to false documents or documents of dubious origin.
The role of the policeman was decisive for the achievement of the organization’s objectives, as he would pick up the most suitable flight, the visual control of the migrants and their documents and the final “approval” of the flight the criminal organization would pick for the trafficking.
Due to his position, he carried out intermittent inspection tasks and informed the criminal organization in order to select the most suitable flights, which “coincided” in most cases with his shifts.
For every successful departure, the gang would cash €4.500 – €6,000 even if the migrant would be arrested after arriving in the EU country. The money was paid in full and in advance.