Greek police expose migrant trafficking ring operating from inside prisons

39-year-old Syrian or Iraqi national operating from prison cell in Crete is accused ringleader.

Greek police expose migrant trafficking ring operating from inside prisons

The police have uncovered a migrant trafficking gang operating from within Greek prisons, local media reported on Thursday.

According to the police, two prisons – one on the island of Crete and one in a suburb of the capital Athens – have been the headquarters of the prisoners operating the ring.

The alleged leader, codenamed “Marios,” has been identified as a 39-year-old Syrian or Iraqi national, police said, adding that he has been operating one of the largest migrant trafficking rings from his prison cell in Chania, Crete.

The traffickers transported migrants from the borders with Türkiye in Evros to mainland Greece.

Raiding the cell of the leader, police found the cellphones he communicated with and organized the illegal trafficking, as well as handwritten notes with names and sums of money.

The ringleader was already in prison for the exact same crime, as in 2019 he was arrested for illegal trafficking.

Three more prisoners from Korydallos prison in Athens, Amfissa prison, and Komotini were also allegedly involved in the ring, with all of them already serving out sentences for migrant trafficking.

Police also said the traffickers stole cars, usually SUVs and jeeps, from Attica and used them to transport the migrants from the borders to mainland Greece.

The sum of money that the immigrants had to pay to the traffickers, in order to reach their final destination, exceeded €10,000 ($10,037) in total.