German Navy sailors surround a boat with more than 100 migrants near the German combat supply ship 'Frankfurt am Main' during EUNAVFOR Med, also known as Operation Sophia, in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Libya, Tuesday, March 29, 2016

© AP Photo / Matthias Schrader

BERLIN (Sputnik) – Hundreds of German police officers are participating in a security operation that aims to tackle migrant smuggling, Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported on Wednesday.

A total of 27 apartments and business premises in North Rhine-Westphalia, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Baden-Württemberg and Hesse were searched, according to the media.

The criminal network reportedly helped illegal migrants from India and Pakistan receive residence permits.

READ MORE: Germany: New Migration ‘Master Plan’ Sparks Discord in Merkel’s Coalition

Police also planned to hold security operations in other German regions.

The mass influx of migrants and asylum seekers which the European Union has been facing since 2015 has significantly affected the bloc’s criminal landscape. According to Europol, over 90 percent of migrants traveling to the European Union received help in doing so by criminal groups.

Europol also says that Germany is one of the preferred destinations for irregular migrants traveling to Europe, along with Sweden and the United Kingdom.