Europe’s most wanted migrant-smuggler arrested in Iraq

This news has been read 591 times!

Barzan Majeed, one of Europe’s most infamous people-smugglers.

LONDON, May 14: In a significant breakthrough following a BBC investigation, Barzan Majeed, one of Europe’s most infamous people-smugglers, has been apprehended in Iraq. Iraqi Kurdistan authorities confirmed Majeed’s arrest on Sunday morning, shedding light on a criminal enterprise that trafficked migrants across the perilous English Channel via boats and lorries.

For years, Majeed, also known as “Scorpion,” orchestrated an extensive people-smuggling network, boasting of transporting thousands of migrants across the channel. His arrest comes after persistent efforts by BBC investigators, who tracked him down to the city of Sulaymaniya in Iraq.

Senior officials in the Kurdistan Regional Government acknowledged the BBC’s crucial role in Majeed’s capture, utilizing the investigation’s findings to locate him. The arrest occurred without major incident as Majeed stepped out of his home, officials stated.

“We are now looking at charges against him here first and foremost, and then we will be discussing with European police and prosecutors who want to question him and deal with him,” a senior government official remarked.

The UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) expressed gratitude to the BBC for spotlighting Majeed’s case, reaffirming their commitment to dismantling criminal networks involved in smuggling people into the UK.

Majeed’s gang, operating between 2016 and 2021, controlled a significant portion of the people-smuggling trade between Europe and the UK. Despite convictions of 26 gang members in courts across the UK, France, and Belgium, Majeed eluded capture until now.

In his absence, a Belgian court convicted him of 121 counts of people-smuggling, sentencing him to 10 years in prison and imposing a substantial fine. However, Majeed’s whereabouts remained unknown until the BBC investigation uncovered his location.

During interactions with the BBC, Majeed displayed a callous disregard for the plight of drowned migrants, suggesting their fate was sometimes their fault. He denied being a prominent figure in a criminal organization, alleging that arrested gang members falsely incriminated him to secure lighter sentences.

Ann Lukowiak from the public prosecutor’s office in Belgium welcomed Majeed’s arrest, expressing hope for justice to prevail in the case.

Majeed’s apprehension marks a significant milestone in efforts to combat human trafficking and hold perpetrators accountable for their crimes.

This news has been read 591 times!

Related Articles

Back to top button

Advt Blocker Detected

Kindly disable the Ad blocker

Verified by MonsterInsights