More than 150 German and Danish police officers searched a dozen apartments and offices in a joint cross-border raid on an illegal human trafficking network that focused on arranging hundreds of sham marriages.
In a separate but coordinated operation in eastern Germany yesterday, several locations were also searched on allegations that traffickers arranged sham marriages for foreigners trying to live in Germany without valid papers.
Police temporarily detained and questioned five German suspects in connection with the German-Danish raid, which targeted traffickers bringing people from various Asian countries to Germany, police said. Because of the ongoing investigation, police would not specify which countries the people came from.
Police confiscated marriage documents, passports, computers, mobile phones, fake residency documents and business records.
The fake marriages were mostly carried out on the Danish island of Aeroe, known as the country's "marriage island." For 500 kroner (79 dollars) marriages can be carried out without much bureaucracy in Danish, English or German.
In the other raid in eastern Germany, more than 100 federal police searched 27 homes and offices of alleged traffickers who are accused of bringing people from Pakistan and India to Germany, also by arranging sham marriages for them.
Searches took place in the cities of Leipzig, Eilenburg and Hettstedt, but also in some cities in the west.
Authorities say the two raids were coordinated to take place the same day to avoid causing those involved to start taking more precautions.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)