The migrant confession about the smuggling from Montenegro (N1)
The journey into unknown from Iraq to Bosnia cost this family 10.000 euro, says our interviewee. Part of it ended in the smugglers pockets.
Father of four agreed to reveal how the smuggling from Montenegro to Bosnia and Herzegovina looked like, under condition of protected identity.
“Regarding smugglers, the price varies from person to person. Some are asking 1000, 1500, 2500 euros per person. The persons that drove us from Montenegro to Bosnia and Herzegovina said they were taxi drivers, but they were no taxi drivers. We gave them the money in BiH. We paid 120 euros, but if we were caught, we would have to look for someone else again and pay as much, maybe even more”, says the Iraqi migrant.
“We did not know the smugglers personally. We contacted the persons who were smuggled by the smugglers before and then we asked them for the assistance”, he says.
They claim to have walked the largest part of the route from the BiH border to Sarajevo. Their final destination is Netherlands. They are not sure whether they will reach it, because they are left with no money. They are claiming they have to leave their temporary accommodation and will most probably spend the night tomorrow in the park. Other migrants are counting on the money they received from the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina to buy tickets to Croatia, they say. Smugglers are counting on their money too.
More than 30 persons were identified in the two organized crime groups which were involved in illegal activities of smuggling the migrants. They charged between 500 and 550 euros.
International joint police activity nicknamed “Taurus” and “OX” is continued by the arrests of two persons bwho are now charged for organized smuggling of migrants. Detention is also sought for the six smugglers arrested earlier. 29 year old Bosnian, belonging to a smugglers criminal chain was arrested in Croatia. He was in charge of transferring migrants to Zagreb after they crossed the border in an irregular manner. They were supposed to continue their journey to Slovenia. According to the information from Croatian Bureau for Combating Corruption and Organized Crime (USKOK), they were charging 350 euros per foreign national.
Peter Van der Auweraert, the Western Balkans Sub-regional Coordinator of the International Organization for Migration pointed out that smugglers from BiH are often part of the international criminal networks:
“Large majority of immigrants in BiH used smugglers at one point. If they didn’t, such journeys would not be possible to organize. It is hard to detect the smugglers, due to the fact that most of the smugglers routes are international ones. Those are not necessarily the routes of Bosnia, Albania, Montenegro. They are international.”
For those that are currently in Bosnia and Herzegovina, crossing the next border is not guaranteed, but they are full hope. While they are waiting for their next chance, they only certain thing is the uncertainty.