Three Pakistani nationals living in the northern Italian cities of Rovigo and Ferrara have been arrested by Carabinieri police. They are allegedly part of a criminal ring operated by Pakistani and Iranian citizens who drove undocumented migrants from north-eastern Italy to Germany through the Brenner Pass, a mountain
pass through the Alps.
Ten documented cases, investigators
The suspects were arrested on charges of aiding and abetting illegal immigration. They are Usman Zaman Muhammad, 22, a Ferrara resident considered as the head of the organization by investigators; Almas Mahammad, 24, living in Polesella near Rovigo, and Farooq Ahmed, 24, without a permanent residence.
The investigation was started after a tip on the alleged abduction of Pakistani citizens who were taken to Italy illegally in exchange for money and who were held in a residence in Polesella.
The criminal ring allegedly included operatives in Portomaggiore, near Ferrara, and Bologna, investigators said.
Alleged head of the organization already arrested
The alleged head of the organization Muhammad had already been arrested once on January 13 at the border between Austria and Germany while he was driving a car with four undocumented migrants on board by German authorities.
Rovigo Carabinieri police kick started the operation on March 21 after arrest warrants were issued against the suspects by the preliminary investigations judge (GIP) Pietro Mondaini. After discovering that Muhammad had returned to Italy after being released by German authorities, police arrested the man in Ferrara and found a Greek driving license in his possession. Officials arrested Ahmed neat Bologna's train station, investigative sources said.