‘Malta’s Passeur’: Malta-Italy human trafficking ringleader arrested in France

Italian investigations in Operation Malta’s Passeur show hundreds of migrants were transited through Malta, where they were temporarily accommodated and given fake papers


A Guinean leader of a human trafficking ring that smuggled hundreds of irregular migrants using Malta as a temporary staging post where they were given fake papers for travel by plane to Italy has been arrested in France on the strength of a European Arrest Warrant issued by the courts of Treviso.

The human trafficker is one of the three Guineans involved in the October 2019 ‘Operation Malta’s Passeur’, which uncovered how hundreds of migrants entered Italy through a number of airports on scheduled flights from Malta using forged identity documents.

The operation was led by the Fiamme Gialle of Treviso with the collaboration of the Guardia di Finanza and the Interior Ministry.

The initial investigations began when two African illegal immigrants in afrival from Malta were arrested at the Treviso airport. Both were using the same counterfeit passport whose identity actually belonged to  the same third person.

Through subsequent investigations – including telephone interceptions, analyses of the passenger lists and flight reservations and the examination of suspects’ bank accounts – Italian investigators were able to reconstruct the “tried and tested” system developed by the Guineans to smuggle dozens of African migrants into Italy using Malta as a stopover base.

Before making their way to their end destination of Italy, investigators say the migrants were first staged in Malta where they received temporary accommodation and counterfeit identity documents from the suspects themselves.

After that, they were put on flights for Treviso, Rome Ciampino, Rome Fiumicino, Bari, Turin, Orio al Serio, Naples, Perugia, as well as on on ferries to Catania.

The rate being charged for entry into Italy from Malta, investigators determined, was between €450 and €700.

The unnamed individual arrested in France this week had originally been arrested in Naples, where he was found in possession of fake identity documents and passports to be used by the ring’s clients.

Those documents as well as the content of chats found on mobile phones have led Italian investigators to believe the operation was much larger than had originally been thought and that the ring could have sent hundreds of irregular migrants to Italy through the Malta route they had developed.

The suspect had later fled to France, where he was arrested in Orléans this week on a European Arrest Warrant. He will soon appear before the Treviso courts on charges of aggravated aiding and abetting of illegal immigration.


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1 month ago

A supply of identity documents , must have been pretty good fakes , or actual genuine documents supplied by complacent locals in the right place.
These were caught not because of a fake document being found out , but because the documents happened to be on the same flight. It will be useless for the Italian police to ask for the cooperation of the Maltese Police. This happened before .

1 month ago

Money betrayed Our Lord Jesus Christ and Guda never stop migrating illegal people for money. People of high rank position must caught and sent drinking Champaign and smoking cigars in cells fot life

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