• Wednesday, Jan 19, 2022
  • Last Update : 03:32 am

Over 300 arrested in Europe-wide crime swoop

  • Published at 04:37 pm October 19th, 2016
  • Last updated at 06:10 pm October 19th, 2016
Over 300 arrested in Europe-wide crime swoop

Police forces from 52 countries arrested over 300 people and swooped on red-light districts to bust several trafficking gangs in a week-long, round-the-clock operation, Europol said Wednesday.

The action led by the European police agency focused on disrupting the most dangerous criminal networks currently active including those dealing in illegal immigration, people and drug trafficking and cybercrime.

Some 529 victims of trafficking were found in brothels and massage parlours, a total of 314 people arrested and about 2.4 tonnes of cocaine was seized.

Operation Ciconia Alba was coordinated by Europol from its headquarters in The Hague in what it called "a major blow to organised crime groups operating across the European Union and beyond."

[caption id="attachment_23064" align="aligncenter" width="800"]Europol1 European police agency TWITTER[/caption]

Raids "targeted red-light districts, brothels, massage parlours, private apartments, airports and immigration reception centres," the agency said in a statement.

The nationalities of those arrested as well as those rescued showed that "trafficking networks originating in Nigeria, Asia and Eastern Europe are the most active in the EU".

A fake travel agency was uncovered in Greece and a total of 745 migrants were identified in the operation which also involved the European border agency Frontex, Interpol and Eurojust.

More than 540,000 people and vehicles were searched and checked and a total of 181,500 euros was seized.

The raids also aimed to crackdown on credit card fraud, and among those arrested were 140 people caught with airline tickets bought with stolen credit cards.

And in Austria, during a raid on an illegal brothel, police also uncovered a cannabis plantation.

"Countries and organisations across the globe working together as one entity is the modern response to borderless serious and organised crime," said Europol chief Rob Wainwright.

Alongside all EU members, some 24 non-EU nations took part including Ecuador, Indonesia, Nigeria, the United States and the United Arab Emirates.

Europol press release on Operation Ciconia Alba

Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail