Two Russians, aged 32 and 39, were arrested in Berlin and three in Poland, suspected of being part an organized criminal network, composed mainly of Russians of Chechen origin.
They allegedly transported Chechen migrants illegally from Russia through Poland and into Germany.
Europol said in a statement: “The criminal group operated from various European countries and recruited Polish taxi drivers to transport the migrants across borders and to asylum centres in Germany.”
Investigators said the group was suspected of smuggling more than 200 Chechen migrants to Germany since March 2013. Being smuggled would cost a person around €1,500 each time.
“On top of Wednesday’s two arrests in Germany and three in Poland, a number of house searches were carried out and important evidence was confiscated including computers, hard drives, mobile phones and SIM cards,” Europol said.
More than 170 officers from Germany, Poland and Belgium were involved in raids.