People smuggling is rapidly becoming a more lucrative business and traffickers are being financed by terror groups, Hungarian intelligence report warns

Serbian police arresting migrants near the Hungarian border. (MTI/AP/Serbian Ministry of Interior)
By Dénes Albert
3 Min Read

A recently declassified intelligence report on the national security aspects of illegal migration in the Serbian-Hungarian border region has added further worrying details to the already gloomy picture unfolding on Hungary’s southern border.

The report by the Hungarian secret service prepared for the parliamentary National Security Committee revealed that the physical, vital, and legal elements of Hungarian defense are under increasing pressure.

Smugglers are in competition with each other

One of the main risks identified is the growing competition between groups of people smugglers with an Afghan background in Serbia, which the report also showed is reflected in a growing capacity for violence.

The intelligence document prepared revealed that the leaders and members of the gangs now include people who are related to the leaders of the Taliban government and its influential Haqqani group, which is registered as a terrorist organization.

More and more people are asking to participate

The report concluded that business interests are largely behind the growing willingness of traffickers to use violence. As the business of human smuggling is becoming increasingly lucrative, more and more people want to get involved, while rival gangs are seeking not only to maintain their market share but to increase it.

“In this situation, the emergence of a group whose members openly embrace a willingness to use violence and their lack of inhibition, the attitude that attacking and defeating the ‘enemy soldier’ is a glory, is a major risk factor,” the report stated.

From people smuggling to terror

Henceforth, if this activity remains viable, the proceeds of human smugglers could be used to finance terrorism, corrupt local authorities, or buy more weapons.

In addition, perhaps the most serious information that has come to light so far is that there is a terrorist organization in the Middle East that is financing an entire network of people smugglers in the Balkans.

Overall, a number of risks can be identified in relation to both recent and foreseeable events in the near future, according to the report.

Traffickers are becoming increasingly aggressive and are likely to include an increasing number of people with combat experience from the conflict zone in the Middle East. Their armed strength is increasing, while smuggling is becoming more lucrative. Moreover, they are now becoming more organized, as the Taliban also sees an opportunity to control the gateway to Europe.

Not to mention the fact that, in the wake of events in the Middle East, terrorist organizations may also find it attractive to dominate the trafficking of human beings.

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