THE HAGUE - A migrant smuggling operation has been dismantled by Romanian and Moldovan authorities, with the support of Eurojust. From 2019 until now, an organised crime group (OCG) smuggled over 100 migrants to the Schengen Area, demanding up to EUR 5 000 for the transport. On 27 May, authorities searched 11 houses and carried out multiple interrogations in Romania, and on 16 May another eight searches were conducted in Moldova, followed by the arrest of four drivers and their leader. OCG smuggled migrants from Asia or Africa for sums ranging from EUR 3 000 to EUR 5 000. The migrants were smuggled in special spaces created to disguise the transport. The suspects used multiple routes for the smuggling, passing through Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia and Türkiye. As part of their operation, the OCG recruited victims from countries that did not require a visa to travel to the European Union to transport the migrants undetected.

With the support of Eurojust, the Romanian and Moldovan authorities set up a joint investigation team (JIT) to expose the OCG. The suspects include over 20 Romanian and Moldovan citizens. In April, multiple house searches, interrogations and asset seizures were carried out in Moldova. Currently, four drivers from Moldova and their organiser have been officially charged with organising illegal immigration.

The JIT resulted in action days on 16 May in Moldova and on 27 May in Romania. Authorities were able to conduct 19 house searches and perform multiple interrogations of suspects. Of the five members of the OCG from Moldova, two have made a full confession. Eurojust facilitated cooperation between the Romanian and Moldovan authorities. Eurojust’s assistance in setting up a JIT ensured that the Romanian and Moldovan authorities were able to cooperate faster and more efficiently during the investigation.

The following authorities were involved in the operation:


- Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism – Galați Territorial Service

- Bureau for Combating Organized Crime Galați

- Service for Combating Organized Crime Dâmbovița

- Special Operations Directorate of the Romanian Police


- Prosecutor’s Office for Combating Organized Crimes and Special Cases

- National Investigative Inspectorate of the General Police InspectorateEXT (Calibri 11).