German police have raided 26 premises across the country on Wednesday during an operation to dismantle human trafficking rings. Three suspects have been detained, who are alleged to have links to a criminal group run by a 65-year-old Kosovan national, who was also arrested.
The alleged Kosovan ring leader is reported to go by the pseudonym of "the ambassador” among people smugglers. He is accused of providing fake immigration stamps to illegal migrants for money, dealing mostly with Albanians. The dpa news agency reports that he thus made it look like the illegal migrants had been granted permanent residence in Germany.
The investigation also targeted 28 others who are alleged to have helped with the procuring of forged documents as well as being in the country illegally.
Further raids in eastern Germany
In a separate raid, police and customs officers found 11 people in the states of Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt, who were in the country illegally. They are also alleged to have been assisted by human traffickers.
Federal police deployed a total of 500 officers in the states of Lower Saxony, Hamburg, North Rhine Westphalia, Thuringia and Baden-Württemberg during the raids.