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German police conducted a major raid against a group of suspected people smugglers early Wednesday, German news agency dpa reported.
Around 400 officers, among them federal police and GSG 9 special units, searched more than 20 apartments and offices, mainly in Berlin, but also in the eastern state of Saxony-Anhalt.
Five men were arrested, four of them in Berlin and one in the city of Halle, while another 12 suspects were under investigation, dpa reported.
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The group is said to have brought at least 90 people, mostly from Turkey and Iraq, to Germany, with each paying several thousand euros.
Police officers arrest a man during a raid in Berlin, Germany, on March 15, 2023. German police conducted a raid against a group of suspected human smugglers. (Paul Zinken/dpa via AP)
They were flown from Istanbul by plane to the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo. From there, they continued their trip to Germany by car across the so-called Balkan route. Some of them were discovered in the apartments that police searched on Wednesday.
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The suspects have mainly Turkish or German citizenships, according to police.