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Greece files against 33 NGO members for assisting human traffickers

Greek authorities have prepared a case file against 33 foreign nationals, members of four non-governmental organizations dealing with refugee issues on the island of Lesvos. The case file against the specific NGOs reportedly includes the offenses of forming and joining a criminal organization, espionage, violation of state secrets, as well as viol

The case file reportedly includes the offenses of forming and joining a criminal organization, espionage, violation of state secrets, as well as violations of the Immigration Code against a total of 35 foreigners.

Thirty-three of them are members of four non-governmental organisations (NGOs) whose names have not been disclosed, while two are third-country nationals working on migration issues.

The NGOs have reportedly their headquarters abroad.

Their action is estimated to date from the beginning of last June and consisted, according to the indictment, of providing substantial assistance to organized illegal migrant trafficking networks.

Citing a press release by the Lesvos Police directorate, local news website stonisi, writes that “under the pretext of humanitarian action, those involved provided refugees in Turkey information about landing coordinates and weather conditions via closed groups and internet applications.”

The information included:

  • gathering places on the Turkish coast and departure time for voyage to Lesvos.
  • coordinates (longitude and latitude) of specific refugee flows and their direction at a specific time and place
  • number of third-country nationals onboard of boats and the prevailing situation during the voyage
  • final destination (landing place on the coast),
  • details for the accommodation at Moria refugees center on Lesvos.”

The Police announcement said also that “in addition, through the extensive use of a specific telephone connection application, related to the activation of rescue operations, they hampered the operational work of the Greek Coast Guard vessels, at a time when migratory flows were evolving.”

The network was involved in at least 32 cases of refugees and migrants transfer.

The investigation continues “in order to determine the full extent of the illegal activity of the criminal organization and its connections.

The investigation was carried out in collaboration with the National Intelligence Service, with the assistance of the Counter-Terrorism Service as well as the Directorates for Information Management and Analysis, Attica Aliens Dept and Crime Department.

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