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Thirty-three NGO members face charges of smuggling migrants in Greece


Thirty-three members of non-governmental organizations(NGO) and two foreign nationals suspected of illegally facilitating the illegal entry of asylum seekers from Turkey into Greece are subject to criminal prosecution, including the management of a criminal organization and espionage and violation of state secrets, Greek police (ELAS) said on Monday.

In a statement issued after several months of investigation with the help of the Greek intelligence agency and the counterterrorism unit, ELAS said the alleged racketeering had helped smuggle migrants to the island of Lesvos since at least early June.

It is said to have actively supported smuggling networks to sneak migrants using closed social media groups, confidential apps and information, including migrant assembly points on the Turkish coast and geographic coordinates of refugee flows to Greece.

Alleged use of the apps also interfered with Hellenic Coast Guard rescue operations, according to ELAS. It has been linked to at least 32 cases of migrant smuggling or attempted smuggling, the statement said, adding that the investigation is continuing to determine the extent of the alleged racketeering activity.

@Thirty-three NGO members face charges of smuggling migrants in Greece

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