Sunday, January 13, 2008

Germany Smashes Human Trafficking Ring Sending Iraqis to Sweden

From All Headline News:

German police arrested six people on Wednesday morning at Gelsenkirchen, Essen and Mulheim, in an alleged human smuggling ring that took Iraqi refugees to Sweden. Aside from the six arrested, another five were detained for investigation and one member of the ring is still being pursued.

The syndicate is allegedly responsible for bringing over 100 Iraqi asylum seekers to Sweden; another 63 were apprehended in Germany and Italy. The refugees were traveling aboard rented camper vans that picked up the Iraqis in Greece and traveled through Italy, Austria and Germany.

Sweden is a favorite destination of refugees because of its liberal asylum laws. Investigation into the syndicate began in September 2007 and involved about 200 police officers.

Germany, because of its central location, is a favored stopover or final destination for victims of various human trafficking schemes. On July 2006, joint Bulgarian and German police operations took down a syndicate that tried to smuggle 14 Bulgarian women into Hamburg to work as prostitutes.

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