More than 30 homes were hit and four suspects arrested as police launched a nationwide raid on the group.
“We’re investigating a trafficking ring which has brought between 80 and 100 people from Syria and Iraq into the country,” police spokesperson Holger Jureczko told the Welt newspaper, adding that gang members were being paid between €4,500 and €10,000 to get people into Germany.
According to Welt, an Iraqi-born individual residing in Twistringen in Lower Saxony, who is thought to be the leader of the gang of about 30 people, appeared before court on Tuesday and is expected to remain in custody.
Police say the group operated with a high degree of professionalism, travelling to Germany by air through Turkey and Greece, as well as on boats and by car and supplying their clients with forged documents.
“In two cases, for an extra fee they arranged to have the top layer of skin removed from their clients’ fingertips so that their fingerprints couldn’t be identified,” Jureczko told Welt.