220030, Minsk
Gorodskoy Val str., 4


28 June 2018Fake football fans on the way to European Union stopped in Belarus

MINSK, 27 June (BelTA) – The Central Office for Fighting Organized Crime and Corruption of the Belarusian Interior Ministry has detected a channel used to smuggle illegal migrants into the European Union under the guise of football fans, representatives of the Interior Ministry told BelTA.

Officers of the organized crime and corruption unit with assistance of SWAT police apprehended a citizen of Bangladesh on 27 June. Police believe that the man is involved in the organization of an illegal migration channel for transporting people from Bangladesh to the European Union via Belarus. Some $3,000 and $3,800 was found on his person. The money had been received the day before as fees for his services.

Alexander Azarov of the organized crime and corruption unit explained that two other Bangladesh citizens had been helping the man smuggle illegal migrants across the Belarusian border. They were detained, too. One accomplice had operated in Moscow, buying tickets for world football championship games in Russia. The illegal migrants used the tickets to get fan ID cards and legally enter Russia. Without actually watching the games the migrants moved directly to Belarus. The other accomplice had been responsible for transporting the migrants from Belarus to the European Union. He was apprehended in Postavy District, Vitebsk Oblast when he was trying to cross the Lithuanian border together with four migrants.

The Belarusian Interior Ministry believes that about 100 Bangladesh citizens may be staying in Moscow right now under the guise of football fans. Work is in progress to ascertain all the facts relating to the criminal activities. The collected materials have been filed to open a criminal investigation.