Italian authorities have dismantled a Kosovar criminal network that was smuggling gold and weapons as well as trafficking migrants, particularly into Switzerland.
According to a Sunday report in Le Matin Dimanche newspaper, 17 people have been arrested, including two in the southern Swiss canton of Ticino.
The network was responsible for transporting and housing migrants, as well as providing false documentation. According to investigators, there are many applicants to leave Kosovo, but as the country is not in the Schengen zone, a visa is required to enter countries that are, including Switzerland. However, many are trying other routes, paying up to CHF2,400 ($2,413) for illegal passage to Italy, CHF3,500 to Switzerland and CHF8,000 to Germany.
A spokesperson for the Swiss Border Guard told the French-language newspaper that most migrants use the train to enter Switzerland, without using such a network. During the first six months of the year, 342 Kosovars were arrested in Switzerland for illegal residency. According to the State Secretariat for Migration, 76,000 undocumented people from various countries currently live in Switzerland.
Le Matin Dimanche/SDA-ATS/cl