Bosnia charges eight for trafficking pickpockets to France

Bosnian prosecutors on Thursday brought charges against eight people for running a human trafficking network that sent undocumented minors to pick pockets at tourist sites in Paris.

Published: 10th May 2018 09:17 PM  |   Last Updated: 10th May 2018 09:17 PM   |  A+A-

By AFP

SARAJEVO: Bosnian prosecutors on Thursday brought charges against eight people for running a human trafficking network that sent undocumented minors to pick pockets at tourist sites in Paris and other French cities.

The crimes were committed from 2012 to 2015 and made the group nearly three million euros ($3.5 million), they said.

The eight men were charged notably with "organised crime, international human trafficking ... forgery of documents, money laundering, bribery," in both Bosnia and France, a prosecutors' statement said.

The suspects recruited women, children and minors in Bosnia, who were then transported to France to be forced to commit "thefts and pickpocketing in public places, subways, museums... and to send the money to the accused in Bosnia," the prosecutors said.

The accused also illegally obtained ID and travel documents for persons transported to France.

A former employee of the Bosnian embassy in Paris was targeted in an earlier probe and sentenced after pleading guilty.

The accused, none of whom has been arrested, include a municipal employee.

The operation was led in close cooperation with the French authorities as the "crimes seriously threatened security of citizens in France," the statement said.

In 2014 a French court sentenced the ringleader of a gang that forced young girls, mainly from Bosnia, into picking pockets on the Paris Metro to 12 years in prison.

Police said that at one time Fehim Hamidovic's gang was responsible for up to 75 percent of thefts on the Metro, Paris's underground rail network.

The gang trained the girls to pick pockets and find potential targets -- often Asian tourists known for carrying significant amounts of cash. 

About 20 members of the gang were also on trial and sentenced to between one and five years in prison.

The gang was busted in 2010 and police estimated it stole a total of 1.3 million euros in Paris in 2009.

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp