German police units coordinated a series of raids on 18 premises across six federal states on November 13 in an operation targeting criminal gangs involved in the illegal smuggling of migrants.
Police searches targeting the gang of people smugglers took place in the states of Lower Saxony, Bremen, Schleswig-Holstein, North Rhine-Westphalia, Brandenburg and Rhineland-Palatinate.
The raids involved more than 500 federal police officers, according to a police spokesman.
An arrest warrant was reportedly executed in connection with a 52-year-old suspect, the spokesman added.
Fake documents and German collaborators
The gang is suspected of smuggling people mainly from Eastern Europe, chiefly Ukraine. Authorities allege that the smugglers also facilitated work opportunities for the migrants, mainly in cleaning services, restaurants and at abattoirs.
According to police sources, the criminal group used falsified documents to facilitate employment for the smuggled individuals. A number of German nationals are also accused of being involved in the scheme. Further arrests may follow.
with dpa, NDR