22 arrested in Europe for people smuggling

18th November 2009, Comments 0 comments

Police arrested 22 people in Britain, the Netherlands, France and Greece on Tuesday for allegedly smuggling around 2,000 people, mainly from Iraq, into Europe, the Europol police agency said.

The Hague -- The arrests were the culmination of an 18-month investigation, it said in a statement.

The gang is suspected of having smuggled immigrants from Iraq to France via Turkey, Greece and Italy for up to EUR 15,000 (about USD 22,000) each, an agency spokesman told AFP in The Hague.

Once in France, the immigrants were transported either by car or truck to the UK or Sweden for another EUR 2,000 per trip.

Fourteen of the group were arrested in France, said the agency statement. The leaders of the gang were of Iraqi nationality or origin.

Another four were arrested in the United Kingdom, and two each in Greece and the Netherlands.

Police also arrested seven of the alleged illegal immigrants at a house in the United Kingdom.


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