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75 nabbed over human trafficking ring

11 August 2013, 08:42

Madrid - Spanish and French police said on Saturday that they had dismantled a human trafficking ring that smuggled Chinese migrants into Europe and the United States and arrested 75 suspects including "main operatives" based in Barcelona.

Fifty-one suspects were arrested in Spain and 24 in France after a two-year joint investigation, a police statement said.

The traffickers charged between €40 000 and €50 000 per person to provide "false identities and transport Chinese citizens to the United States and countries such as Spain, France, Greece, Italy, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Turkey," the statement said.

It said in some cases the ring was involved in the sexual exploitation of migrants.

Spanish police seized 81 fake passports from Asian countries such as Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore.

The investigation into the ring described as "complex" began in July 2011.

The traffickers accompanied their clients all the way from China to Spain, "the last stop (serving as a) trampoline to the final destination, usually the United Kingdom or the United States," it said.



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