Crammed at the back of lorries next to transported cargo, the Vietnamese nationals had to pay from USD 6,500 to 20,000 for being transported from Romania via Poland into Western Europe until the Polish police clamped down on the gang of traffickers conducting the operation on Wednesday.
“Foreigners were trafficked from Romania in specially designed stashes in the cargo space of lorries,” said a Border Guard spokesperson, adding that “the stashes were placed behind the transported cargo thus leaving the foreigners incapable of leaving [the vehicle] on their own. The journey took place in extremely difficult conditions and lasted for several dozens of hours.”
The police identified the gang a couple of months ago and managed to pinpoint one of the group’s transports. As many as 21 Vietnamese nationals were found inside one of the Germany-bound lorries. The driver was detained.
Meanwhile, the police in Wrocław discovered traffick pick-up points on the so-called Balkan route. Vietnamese nationals predominated among the trafficked individuals, although Afghans, Pakistanis and Syrians were also reported to be among the transported people.
The migrants’ usual destinations were France, Germany and the UK. They started their journey in Romania, travelled through Hungary and Slovakia in order to be delivered to pick-up points in the Polish provinces of Silesia, Lower Silesia and Lubuskie. From then on the migrants continued their Germany-bound journey in different lorries.
According to investigation data, the gang rented different vehicles each time it was about to undertake trafficking operations. The traffickers paid extra attention to lorries having Polish and UK plates in order to avoid detection by law enforcement services.
During the Wednesday clampdown in the Lower Silesian, Lubskie, Wielkopolskie and Mazowieckie provinces, as many as 10 members of the gang were apprehended, including 9 Poles and 1 Vietnamese national. The group was led by a Pole believed to be responsible for locating migrants willing to travel to Western Europe.
Nine people were detained. All of the traffickers may spend up to 8 years behind bars.