September 14th, 2015


Doing business out of people's misery

The numbers seldom give the whole picture, but still they do help realise its true scope: the European outer borders have been crossed by more than a hundred thousand refugees for the last couple of months, Frontex data shows. Most of these people have used the "services" of traffickers, and many of these attempts have ended up with a tragic result: the UN committee on refugees reports that more than 2400 migrants have died this year, mostly attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea.

At the same time, there are people making a fortune out of this misery. People who put these refugees in broken boats, stack them in cargo trucks, then leave them to their means. According to the UN organisation against drugs and crime, these illegal traffickers make about 150 million euro annually. But this is actually not an updated figure, because it was calculated on the basis of 55 thousand annual migrants. The situation has changed a lot since then. Now hundreds of thousands of refugees are crossing EU's borders every month, and it could turn out the traffickers are making close to half a billion a month.

The huge number of migrants who are trying to reach Europe is creating a vast market, which the traffickers now gladly service. There is place on this market for those who only occasionally aim at making a "hit", then leave the market - they may load a couple of refugees on their vehicle against the "modest" amount of 1500-2000 euro per person. And then there are those who have turned this into a regular business.

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