Iranian human smuggler caught in Istanbul after 17 years on run
An Iranian man who evaded the authorities for 17 years over human smuggling charges has finally been caught in Turkey after extensive efforts by anti-smuggling police.
Reza Hamit Lame, alias “Ghost Baron,” was detained in Istanbul after years on the run from Interpol.
The events that led to his capture began when the Canadian government discovered a number of fake documents, including passports and residence permits, in migrant applications, and determined their place of origin to be a cargo company in Istanbul’s Fatih district.
Istanbul Police Chief Mustafa Çalışkan ordered the formation of a special expert-led police unit after Canadian authorities alerted the Turkish Foreign Ministry.
Units from the Directorate of Anti-Smuggling Branch acted against the cargo company in line with the information provided by Canada and seized a fake Spanish passport.
After learning that the fake documents were delivered by two people named “Reza” and “Mehdi,” who were living in Istanbul’s Küçükçekmece district, police began tracking the pair, apprehending both Lame and his accomplice Mehdi Golichobeh within 36 hours.
Authorities seized one stolen Italian passport, three fake holograms pertaining to three separate Spanish passports, and three phones in the searches.
The suspects were then taken to police headquarters, where it was determined that they had entered Turkey illegally twice and given their fingerprints under the fake names of Fatraei S. and Sayed Mojdaba F.
The suspects were sought in connection to forgery and human smuggling operations in Turkey, Canada, Italy and Germany.
Lame was also wanted for his alleged involvement in a human trafficking-related accident in Germany. He was reportedly behind a smuggling operation that left several migrants dead and 25 injured.