Human Trafficking Roundup Nets 75 in Spain, France
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - A gang that smuggled Chinese citizens into the United States and Europe, sometimes forcing them to work as prostitutes, has been busted with 75 arrests in Spain and France, Spanish authorities announced.
The trafficking ring was based in -- and directed from -- China, but its two suspected leaders in Europe were arrested in the operation, in Barcelona, Spanish national police said in a statement on Saturday.
Besides the two main suspects, Spanish police arrested 49 others carrying forged passports at the airports in Barcelona, Madrid, Palma de Mallorca and five other cities. In France, there were 24 arrests.
The smugglers charged 40,000 to 50,000 euros ($53,000 to $66,000) to transport Chinese citizens, assigned with false identities, to the United States, Spain, France, Greece, Italy, Britain, Ireland and Turkey, the statement said.
Spain was the next-to-last stop for many before they went to the preferred locations of the United States and Britain, the statement said.
The arrests were made last June and the case, at Spain's National Court, has been under seal until now, a national police spokesman told CNN on Saturday.
All of the suspects are Chinese, or from elsewhere in Asia. All have had initial court appearances and have been ordered to remain in prison while the investigation continues or have been released by the judge, with conditions, said the spokesman, who by custom is not identified.