The competent public prosecutor of the Basic Public Prosecutor's Office for the Prosecution of Organized Crime and Corruption has issued an order for the investigation of four persons. The persons, one Macedonian and three Pakistani citizens, are suspected of having committed, as accomplices, the criminal offense of smuggling of migrants as defined and punishable under Article 418 - b, paragraph 3, in conjunction with Article 22,  paragraphs 2 and 4, of the Criminal Code.

At the end of October and early November, the suspects, together under a previous agreement, accepted migrants and placed them in the house of the suspected Macedonian citizen. When the migrants wished to leave, the suspected Pakistanis, with intent on extracting additional money from the migrants, degraded and cruelly treated them. They were forcing the victims to contact their relatives, who had already left for Western Europe, by telephone and to ask the relatives to transfer money to bank accounts previously indicated by the suspects. If the money had not been sent in due time, the victims had been beaten and abused by batons and bars.

In this way the suspects also treated two other persons of Indian origin. Upset and crying, they called a friend in Belgrade and demanded that he pay €1300 for each of them, to enable them to continue the migrant route.

Their friend immediately reported the case to the Serbian police. Following the information received from the police of the Republic of Serbia, on the evening of 1 November 2019, the Macedonian police officers conducted a police raid in the village of Vaksince. In the house of the prime suspect, where the migrants were detained for days in inhumane conditions, during the search of the house, police officers found the prime suspect and twelve migrants, two of whom being juveniles, while three persons were recognized as perpetrators of the said criminal offense. About a dozen migrants fled shortly before the police raid.

Considering that the legal requirements were fulfilled, the competent public prosecutor submitted a proposal to the pre-trial judge of the Basic Criminal Court - Skopje for the detention of all suspects. The judge accepted the prosecution request and made decision to detain three suspects for 30 days, while one suspect was sent to house arrest.

Source: 24info