Bulgarian law enforcement and national security officers have arrested three residents of the town of Kyustendil in an operation against an organised crime group trafficking migrants from Turkey to Europe, Bulgaria’s Interior Ministry said on August 4.
The joint operation involved staff from the national police, Kyustendil directorate of the Interior Ministry and from the State Agency for National Security, under the leadership of the Prosecutor’s Office.
In the operation, 32 foreigners, who identified themselves as citizens of Iraq, were detained, the Interior Ministry said.
Apart from the three Kyustendil residents – two men and a woman – police detained a 46-year-old man who was allegedly an accomplice.
In the operation, police stopped a minibus in a street in Bourgas, driven by a 49-year-old man from Kyustendil. The 32 foreign citizens were in the minibus.
Soon afterwards, police stopped two cars, each driven by the other Kyustendil residents. It was established that these two had assisted in bringing the migrants across the Bulgarian border illegally.
The three arrested were placed in 24-hour custody and pre-trial proceedings against them for people-trafficking have been initiated, the Interior Ministry said.
The foreign nationals, none of whom had identity documents, were to be taken to a special centre for processing migrants.