The recent order to inspect the properties of former members of the Mujahedin Khalq (current members of ASILA) by the Albanian Police was issued by the country’s attorney general, Etleva Deda. Although the Police did not discover anything illegal in the properties of MEK defectors, the order contained a very crucial point about the mujahedin Khalq: Since the arrival of Mojahedin Khalq in Albania, about 400 members have separated from it and about 300 members have illegally left Albania for EU countries.
The most recent defector of the MEK whose house was inspected by the Police on July 14, published new revelations confirming the fact that was noted in the attorney general’s inspection order. Mostafa (Milad) Beheshti‘s testimony was like an evidence to verify what the inspection order stated. “During the past months, an Afghan smuggler with a nickname (Meysam) sent dozens of people across the Albanian border to Greece by receiving 1,200 Euros from each person, and by making fake IDs and documents of foreigners and Greek citizens,” Mostafa writes on his Facebook.
Mostafa clarifies the part of MEK agents in smuggling their defectors out of Albania. “This was done as a team and under the control of one of the Mojahedin supporters in Germany,” he writes. “The smuggler (Meysam) was in contact with a person determined by the Mujahideen through virtual number and WhatsApp, and no one else had the right to have the number of this smuggler.”
Mostafa Beheshti who used to visit the MEK commanders to receive a small monthly payment before announcing his complete defection a few weeks ago, states the names of two MEK commanders who were in direct contact with the Afghan smuggler to monitor the defector even after his defection from the Cult of Rajavi. “Human trafficking was carried out in groups of 3 people, and Javad Khorasan and Abdullah Hosseini were in direct contact with the groups’ guides along the way.”
Human smuggling by the MEK has been in the lime light from time to time. On December 2021, it was reported that an MEK-linked team have been arrested for drug smuggling, human trafficking, and money laundering in Albania. Press TV cited from Exit News, the Albanian news agency that published an official document giving details of serious offenses involving MEK members: “According to the document, bearing the signature and stamp of the Director of the Criminal Police Department in the State Police, two members of the MKO, along with Albanian and Greek accomplices, have been arrested for direct involvement in human trafficking.”
The MEK’s background indicates that it has always been professionally active in human trafficking. According to RAND report a large number of the MEK’s rank and file had been smuggled to Iraq when it was located in Camp Ashraf, 60 kilometers from Baghdad. The report published in 2009 reads:
“Several factors suggest that repatriation to Iran is appropriate for the MeK rank and file. First, a significant, indeterminate portion of the MeK rank and file in Iraq were at Camp Ashraf only because of the MeK’s fraudulent recruiting practices. For example, Iranians taken prisoner by Saddam’s forces during the Iran-Iraq War were promised repatriation to Iran if they transferred from Iraqi prison camps to MeK facilities. Iranian expatriates in third countries were told that they would be granted asylum in European countries. They were also given offers of employment as translators, along with promises of land and spouses. Some Iranians were enticed to MeK camps by offers of free visits with family members. Others who paid to be smuggled out of Iran found themselves trafficked to MeK camps rather than to their intended destinations. Although the exact figure is not known, it is estimated that approximately 70 percent of MeK members now in Iraq joined the group after its relocation there and subsequent decline in popularity. Many of them were victims of these fraudulent recruiting practices.”
What the RAND report asserts, have been frequently appeared in the testimonies of former members who recounted how they got involved with the MEK. The testimonies of victims of the Cult of Rajavi indicate the dimensions of Massoud Rajavi’s atrocity against his rank and file in his cult of personality. “These victims as well as the MeK’s true volunteers (most of whom joined prior to the MeK’s exile from Iran) have been trapped in a cult environment,” according to the RAND report. “The MeK leadership has confiscated their identity documents, threatened them with persecution in Iran and prosecution for illegal immigration in Iraq, and prevented those who wished to do so from returning to their home country. Therefore, humanitarian considerations regarding the MeK must not assume that the wishes of the MeK’s leadership are the same as those of the rank and file, particularly those who were deceived and then trapped at MeK camps.”
Nevertheless, the recent revelation that was made in the Albanian’s inspection order and was confirmed and clarified by Mostafa Beheshti, shows that people who defect the MEK are not free from the cult’s control system which is now under the ruling of Maryam Rajavi. Leaders of the Cult of Rajavi make their maximum effort to prevent defectors from deradicalization by smuggling them across Albanian border and delivering them to their agents in other European countries. By its supportive activities for former members of the group, the Association for the Support of the Iranians Living in Albania (ASILA) is actually obstructing the MEK’s efforts. Indeed, as defectors come to ASILA office immediately after their escape from Camp Ashraf 3, they eventually break all of the links that attach them to the Cult of Rajavi.