Bosnia’s Largest Indictment for Migrants Smuggling
Prosecutors in Bosnia and Herzegovina charged 16 people for helping some 850 migrants illegally enter the EU by secretly crossing into Croatia, the Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement.
Friday’s indictment is the largest for organized smuggling of illegal migrants in the country’s history. Prosecutors allege that the suspects acted as an organized group from September to December 2020. They allegedly took advantage of the Balkan country’s migrant crisis and received payments from people living abroad to help their relatives illegally cross the border.
As razor wire fences were popping up along EU borders, migrants from the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa started passing through Bosnia to cross the still not fenced off Croatian EU border.
Croatia’s strong and often violent pushbacks created a breeding ground for criminals who saw an opportunity to profit from smuggling people to the EU.
More than 70,000 refugees and migrants have entered Bosnia and Herzegovina since 2017, according to the United Nations.