Migrant Smugglers Got Caught in Vienna

More+More+ ♦ Published: February 14, 2023; 23:40 ♦ (Vindobona)

Police officers from the Schwechat police and the Vienna police, in cooperation with the Vienna public prosecutor's office, managed to track down and break up a group of Indian smugglers.

Vienna Police and Schwechat Police Caught Indian Smugglers in Vienna. / Picture: © BMI Bundesministerium für Inneres / Alexander Tuma

In cooperation with the Schwechat police, the Vienna police, and the Vienna public prosecutor's office, it was possible to investigate and break up an Indian group of smugglers who had illegally accommodated foreigners in an apartment in Vienna's Ottakring for a fee before they were smuggled on by air with forged documents. The accused are two Indian citizens aged 30, and 31, and a 34-year-old Austrian citizen. "This is another success in the fight against the brutal smuggling mafia and their false promises. The end of visa-free travel for Indian citizens in Serbia at the end of 2022 deprived the smuggling mafia of an important part of their business basis," says Interior Minister Gerhard Karner on the success of criminalists on February 14, 2023.

The three suspected smugglers, some of whom confessed, were provisionally arrested on November 16, 2022, by the criminal investigators from Schwechat. After extensive investigations, the 34-year-old is suspected of having rented the apartment in Vienna Ottakring for paid accommodation of illegally resident Indian citizens.

In the period from August to November 2022, around 300 people are said to have been accommodated there for onward towing to Portugal and Spain. This should have generated at least 150,000 euros. The 30-year-old Indian national is said to have brought the people who were being dragged to their homes, organized the flight tickets and forged documents, and organized taxi rides to the airport. The 31-year-old is said to have worked as a caretaker and manager of the apartment. The fee for the towing from Vienna to Spain or Portugal should amount to at least 300,000 euros.

Since the beginning of the year, arrests by Indian citizens have fallen significantly. While almost 250 Indian citizens were apprehended in the first week of 2023, the arrests in the past few weeks have dropped to twelve Indian citizens.