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From one sheepfold in the area between the prefectures of Xanthi and Rodopi, coordinated the action of a multi-member ring, which illegally trafficked immigrants from the Evros to the hinterland.

Almost a year after his dismemberment and after many months of police investigations with the assistance of Europol, the persons involved found themselves facing the Justice.

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The Three-member Court of Criminal Appeals of Thessaloniki imposed prison terms of up to 284 (!) years (with 20 suspended).

They were all committed to trial 13 defendants, among them a 48-year-old originally from Syria, who, according to the case file, ran the criminal organization and arranged the transports. Other members of the ring included “treasurer“, drivers who made the illegal transports and some who “recruited” them.

The sheepfold seems to have functioned as a “headquarters» of the circuit, as it was from here that the contacts and agreements between the members took place, while it was the starting point of the illegal routes.

The case file describes at least seven cases of migrant transports, with the number of traffickers approaching fifty. Paying in bulk, the smugglers were destined for the Greek hinterland, while one of the routes was destined for the northern borders.

To 48 years oldcharged as director the criminal organization, the court imposed the maximum sentence, that of 284 years of imprisonment (formed by the sum of trafficked persons). He himself, as he mentioned, had previously served a sentence for similar crimes, while in his apology he denied his involvement in the ring. “I was in Xanthi, where I was working in the livestock sector,” he said, while when asked about conversations recorded by the police that appeared to be about transportation, he claimed they were the product of “translations.”

A similar stance was taken by the co-accused members, who, depending on their degree of involvement in the organization’s activities, were sentenced to prison terms ranging from 5 to 73 years. All those sentenced to prison terms returned to prisons.