Bosnia charges two Pakistanis, an Iraqi with people smuggling


SARAJEVO: Bosnian prosecutors on Thursday charged seven people, including one Iraqi and two Pakistani men, with people smuggling.

The group is suspected of ferrying at least 46 people through Bosnia into EU member state Croatia, the prosecutor’s office said in a statement.

They made at least $40,800 (35,800 euros) from the trade, it added.

The Iraqi and two Pakistanis, who allegedly ran the criminal group, falsely presented themselves as migrants “in order to make contacts with persons ready to pay large amounts for illegal smuggling towards EU countries”, prosecutors said.

Bosnia has become a key transit country carrying migrants from Asia, the Middle East and North Africa towards the European Union.

More than 23,000 people have trudged through the mountainous Balkan state since the start of January 2018 in a bid to slip across the border to Croatia and move on into other EU countries.

While most manage to continue north, many have been thwarted by border police.

An estimated 4,500 and 6,000 migrants are currently in Bosnia.