"The business of smuggling illegal migrants to Europe far exceeds the volume of black market trade of drugs and weapons in the EU, said the Czech Defense Minister, who has “no illusions” of Turkey or Greece’s ability to curb illegal smuggling networks.
“The size of criminal business involving the transport of illegal migrants to Europe is enormous, it exceeds the turnover from the sale of drugs and weapons, making – without exaggeration – [by] billions of dollars,” said Martin Stropnicky.
The EU border agency Frontex estimates that people-smuggling networks made more than €4 billion ($4.45bn) from their criminal activities last year, with the biggest piece of the pie stemming from smuggling migrants. That profit is further used to support the illicit drugs and weapons trade.
As over 1.83 million people made it into the European Union in 2015, according to Frontex, Stropnicky expressed doubts about Turkey’s and Greece’s ability to halt or at least deal with the bursting numbers of migrants.
He said that recent statics show that illegal migrant crossings are reaching 5,000 people a day, and this is before the start of the summer season when the waters of the Mediterranean get warmer. More than 870,000 migrants arrived on the Greek islands in 2015 using the so-called Eastern Mediterranean route alone."
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