From Afghanistan with love

Тарас Зозулінський

Thirty-seven Afghans and Syrians found themselves in the mountains without any means of communication. To warm up a little, they lit a fire. The children cried, the women no longer had the strength to walk. They had not eaten or drunk for several days. The men started shouting and calling for help. Half an hour later, Slovak police and border guards came hearing the screams. The Afghans simply did not have the strength to cross the mountain and dissolve in Slovakia.

A long way to Europe

This channel has been operating for many years. In the register of court decisions you can read a significant number of cases in which carriers are involved. These carriers receive conditional terms. The organizers and leaders at all levels continue to work. The channel is active.

For Afghans, the road to Europe begins in their country. The management of the Ukrainian channel has its accomplices here. They are called "guarantors". They receive money from illegal migrants. Everything is transparent. These people are actually the local Afghan mafia. They keep huge sums of money and guarantee - when their compatriots will be in Europe - to transfer the money to the Ukrainian organizers of the channel. All is honestly - Afghans in Europe - guarantors transfer money to Ukrainians. If illegal migrants are caught at the border, the money is not transferred.

The work of the Ukrainian channel actually begins in Russia. Officially and legally, Afghans arrive here as tourists. Ukrainians and their Russian allies are transporting Afghans across the Russian-Ukrainian border. Therefore, Afghans are already entering Ukraine illegally.

In our history, small groups of Afghans were transported to Kharkiv. The local cell of the cross-border canal here was looking for temporary housing for them, providing them with food, and instructing them on the future path.

Another Zhytomyr cell transported groups of Afghans of 4-7 people by truck. The groups were small - in case the police detained - so as not to detain everyone.

Cars are usually accompanied by trucks. Lower-level leaders go ahead for reconnaissance, warning truck drivers about police posts, how to bypass them.journalismfund2.849x0-is.jpg

A group of Afghans and Syrians - 38 people - formed in the forest of Zhytomyr region. Here they lived for several days at the recreation center, waiting for the next driver - from the Transcarpathian cell. Actually, this driver is the only one who was tried in this case. After all, he did not hand over anyone from his team.

The driver was local, but lived in Transcarpathia for a long time. Given the organization of the process - the channel was not functioning for the first day.

The driver arrived in a MAN truck. It was a refrigerator for carrying cow carcasses. 38 illegals were driven into this refrigerator like cattle.

The Afghans said there was nothing to breathe in the refrigerator. When the children started crying, the illegals knocked on the cab - out of desperation. Then the driver turned on the air conditioner. The one in the refrigerator to maintain the temperature of the cow carcasses. So as not to thaw. Afghans mentioned that they froze ungodly. However, at least there was little to breathe.У таких умовах вони їхали більше доби. Часто зупинялися. Напевне, коли супроводжуючі авто помічали поліцейських.

Afghans and Syrians say that on the back way the refrigerator

pick up to a huge hangar. Here they saw seven men of strong physique in tracksuits. The "athletes" wore black masks on their heads. Therefore, the Afghans could not later recognize anyone.

"Athletes" searched illegal immigrants in the hangar. They took away all valuables and money. Some had their mobile phones confiscated. Although the driver of the refrigerator searched them in the Zhytomyr region, many managed to bury their mobile phones.

Two masked men had special portable metal detectors. Those Afghans whose phones were found were beaten. Illegals say that all the way - from Afghanistan, and to the Transcarpathian region they were treated well. And began to abuse in the hangar.

The driver of the refrigerator said that the hangar was in Uzhgorod. Although - could not "remember" the address.

The Afghans stayed in the hangar for several hours. They were taken away by Sprinter minibuses in small groups.journalismfund.637x0-is.jpg

And then - taken to the place of the next gathering - at the foot of the mountain - in a wooded area. Here again formed the whole group of 38 people. The illegals said that the "athletes" passed them directly to another group of accomplices. There were five of them, they were the guides. They were dressed in camouflage uniforms. There were also masks on their heads.

Illegals went in the mountains to Slovakia - Chop direction. Afghans and Syrians recall being severely beaten. And them constantly hurried. It was difficult for the illegals to move. Those who lagged behind the group continued to be beaten.

Not only men but also women with children were beaten. When the children began to cry, they were forced to drink alcohol.

There was a woman in the group who no longer had the strength to move. One of the guide led her back, promising his son that he would transport the Afghan woman the next day. But this guide returned a few hours ago - already alone. A group of illegals did not see this woman again. What happened to her is still unknown.

One of the Afghans said that while walking through the forest they came across a fence with barbed wire. The leaders made a hole in it, through which the whole group crawled.

After crossing the border, the group walked for several more hours. The children were screaming, the women were crying. The illegals said they had not eaten for several days. So they were exhausted and could not go on. Then the leaders leave them in the forest and returned. Having shown - in what direction to go further.

The Afghans froze. So they lit a fire and began to call for help. Later, Slovak border guards came. They called the police.

The illegal immigrants simply did not have the strength to walk a few kilometers to find themselves in a village in Slovakia.

Within hours, the illegals were handed over to Ukrainian border guards. Subsequently, Afghans were deported from Ukraine. The days of horror for them are over. And they began to live in new realities. Without money and savings. After all, formally, they were transferred to the European Union. Therefore, each of them lost about 10 thousand dollars.

Taras Zozulinskyy (Ukraine), Paa Kwesi Plange (Ghana)



"This article was developed with the support of the Money Trail Project (