21:21 GMT +3 hours28 July 2016
Live
Refugees and migrants arrive on a dinghy at the port of Mytilene, on the Greek island of Lesbos, after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey, on February 18, 2016

Migrant Smuggling Profits Exceed Drug Trafficking - Czech Defense Minister

© AFP 2016/ ARIS MESSINIS
Europe
Get short URL
Major Migrant Crisis in Europe (1585)
31726143

Migrant smuggling networks into Europe rake in more profits than arms sales and drug trafficking, Czech Defense Minister Martin Stropnicky said Sunday.

PRAGUE (Sputnik) – Europe has faced an enormous influx of migrants fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East and Africa. Many refugees use transit routes through the Balkans to reach more prosperous countries in Western Europe.
EU border agency Frontex recorded over 1.83 million illegal border crossings into the European Union in 2015.

"The size of criminal business involving the transport of illegal migrants to Europe is enormous, it exceeds the turnover from the sale of drugs and weapons, making – without exaggeration – billions of dollars," Stropnicky said in a televised address.

The Czech minister expressed skepticism toward Turkey’s and Greece’s ability to limit the number of new arrivals.

"I have no illusions that Turkey will stop at once the sale of vessels for the illegal transfer of migrants to Europe and smugglers will begin to be arrested, or that Greece will be able to identify arriving refugees on its territory," Stopnicky stressed.

He said he was disappointed with the results of high-level European bodies in managing the migrant flows and the February 18-19 European Council where the crisis loomed at the top of the agenda.

"The number of daily refugee arrivals into European land in recent days has once again grown Significantly, reaching 5,000 people. But I do not see 1,500 European police officers [on southern EU borders], I do not see new reception and identification centers agreed on at previous EU summits."

He further lamented the rejected proposal among Central and Eastern European member states for a "Plan B" delineation of the passport-free Schengen border along the Bulgarian-Macedonian frontier, effectively expelling Greece from the open border zone.

Topic:
Major Migrant Crisis in Europe (1585)
Related:
Anti-Damascus Sanctions Among Reasons Behind Syria Refugee Crisis - Assad
Refugees Must Leave Calais Camp by Late Tuesday - Reports
Refugees Allowed to EU Must Be Employable - Dutch Employers' Federation
EU-Turkey Summit on Refugees Must Be Held 'As Soon as Possible'
UN Program Uses Eye-Scanning to Provide Refugees With Cash
Europe Found Lacking in Cooperation on Refugee Relocation
Don’t Try to Shift the Burden: Greece Blames EU for Current Refugee Crisis
Merkel Under Fire in Legal Threat Over Refugees From Coalition Partners
Proposed Swiss Expulsion Law Not to Affect Refugees Threatened at Home
Poll: German Public's Refugee U-Turn at Odds With Merkel Policy
Tags:
migrants, refugees, Greece, Turkey, Czech Republic
Community standardsDiscussion
Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik
  • Сomment

All comments

  • Is it because I am black?
    "The number of daily refugee arrivals into European land in recent days has once again grown Significantly, reaching 5,000 people."

    Well, yes, do they know what is happening in Syria, Libya, Nigeria and other places...?
  • Athanasios
    The minister is correct. If the motive to make money is so big, then we need stricter measures of quarting the borders. The Navy can do what it is supposed to do, that is, defend their country, instead of being a "ferryman" for ISIS militants.
Show new comments (0)
Top stories