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Saturday, September 05, 2015

Smuggling refugees into Europe is a new growth industry

BRUSSELS — Amid the biggest wave of migration to Europe in decades, fast-growing smuggling networks are spiriting Syrians and others to the continent, law enforcement officials say — and there are few limits to the sophistication of their efforts.

The 71 corpses discovered in a truck on an Austrian roadside last week are only a grim glimpse of a fast-expanding wave of human smuggling seizing Europe, said officials who are charged with hunting the smugglers. Vans that once may have been used to smuggle cigarettes are being used for the much more fragile cargo of humans. On social networks and in person, migrants can pick from a menu of services, ranging from a slippery seat on a rubber dinghy to Greece all the way to a chartered business jet straight to the refugee haven of Sweden.


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