Crime bosses from Eastern Europe dealing in human trafficking planned to send thousands of Roma people to Ireland after Bulgaria and Romania joined the EU, the Irish government has been reported as saying. The first group of 220 Roma people had already arrived in the country, but some had nowhere to live. Many more were expected to follow, tempted by the social advantages in the country, the Irish Independent reported.
The “influx” had been expected long before Bulgaria and Romania’s January 1 2007 EU accession, the newspaper said. According to the Irish Independent, the Roma problem had existed in Europe for years. In 2006, French authorities broke up a people trafficking operation that had organised the sale of 23 Roma children and their abduction from Bulgaria to France. None of the children’s mothers wanted their children back, probably because they feared retaliation through kidnapping or murder, the newspaper said.