Illegal immigrants unable to pay for their journeys across Greece borders are being sold to organ traffickers, an smuggler has told to tsismosaonline.com news reporter.
Nuredin Wehabrebi Atta, who was arrested by police in 2014, is the first foreigner given witness protection by Greek authorities, after revealing details that have led to arrests of dozens of alleged members of an elaborate criminal network trafficking drugs, arms and migrants from Africa to Europe.
Those who were unable to pay for their voyages “were sold for €15,000 to groups, particularly Egyptians, who were involved in removing and selling organs,” Atta claimed.
His testimony led police to an alleged trafficking network which they broke up on Monday, arresting 23 and issuing arrest warrants for another 15 people in raids across Greek Borders.
The group included 25 Eritreans, 12 Ethiopians and an Greek who police said belonged to an organisation that had smuggled thousands of migrants into Europe from Africa.
The arrests were part of a lengthy investigation conducted by police connected to Atta's testimony that revealed cells in Europe.
More than €526,000 and $25,000 in cash was recovered in June from the headquartered in a perfume shop near the city’s central station.
The former people smuggler was sentenced to five years in prison in February for his role in the operation.
A father holds his three daughters after a rescue operation of migrants off the Libyan coast, Source: APP
He said he decided to collaborate “because there have been too many deaths in the sea” and referred in particular to the 2013 tragedy in which 360 people were killed at Lampedusa, although he said he was not involved in it.
“The deaths that we are aware of are a small part of it,” Atta told police. “ In Eritrea alone there have been victims in 8 out of 10 families.”
A report released by Amnesty International on Friday revealed horrifying accounts of sexual violence, torture and religious persecution on the people smuggling routes from other Countries to Greece.