Two Iraqi nationals and one Italian national are under investigation for allegedly facilitating the illegal entry and stay of several undocumented non-EU nationals in Italy during a trip whose final destination was France or the United Kingdom.
Two Iraqi nationals and an Italian living in the southern Apulian city of Brindisi have been notified by police that a preliminary investigation against them for facilitating illegal immigration has been completed, investigative sources said on Wednesday (October 19).
Investigators believe the three suspects helped several undocumented non-EU citizens to enter Italy and reside illegally.
Reportedly paid $5,000 a ride
A statement from the Italian police said: “According to the investigation conducted, the three persons investigated allegedly violated immigration laws by facilitating the entry and illegal stay of several undocumented non-EU citizens in Italy.” used Italy as a stopover before continuing on to other destinations in France and the UK.
The investigation began, according to the statement, “after the identification of an Iraqi citizen accused of helping non-EU citizens illegally enter Italian territory.”
Investigative sources said men and women, including Pakistanis, Afghans, Kurds and Arabs, first contacted a trafficker suspected of being part of a transnational criminal organization. The trips are said to have cost $5,000 and started from Iran.
“A complex transnational organization”
According to sources, one of those arrested served as a point of contact between Iran and Italy. The migrants involved are believed to have left a town near the Iran-Turkey border and traveled to Greece before crossing the Adriatic Sea to reach Italy.
When the migrants arrived at the Italian port of Brindisi, they were taken on a truck to the northwestern border town of Ventimiglia, from where they reached their final destination, investigative sources said.
Police also said in the statement that a “complex transnational organization” was behind the Iraqi suspect and his alleged accomplices (another Iraqi and an Italian residing in Brindisi). The organization is suspected of working to “facilitate the arrival of undocumented foreigners in Italy to then take them elsewhere,” according to the same source.
At the end of the investigation, the three were charged with facilitating illegal immigration.