Police rescue 57 chained Pakistani migrants bound for Europe in Istanbul
Police on Nov. 27 rescued 57 Pakistani-origin migrants who had been chained in their hands and feet in the basement of a building in Istanbul’s Arnavutköy district, state-run Anadolu Agency has reported.
Anti-migrant smuggling police launched an operation at an address in the Boğazköy neighborhood after receiving intelligence that people were being held in the basement of a building, reportedly bound for Europe.
A total of 57 Pakistan-origin people were rescued in the operation, while three Pakistan-origin suspected migrant smugglers were also detained.
The migrants reportedly said they agreed with the three suspects that they would be sent to Greece and Italy for a total of 10,000 euros, but the smugglers demanded the money without taking them to Europe.
They were then chained and forced to tell their families that they had arrived Europe in order to receive codes for an alternative “Hawala” two-factor verification payment system, Doğan News Agency reported.
The rescued Pakistani migrants will be deported to their countries and the three suspected organizers will be referred to court following questioning at the police headquarters.