11 Aug 2013

Police break 'human trafficking ring'

12:02 pm on 11 August 2013

Spanish and French police say they have dismantled a human trafficking ring that smuggled Chinese migrants into Europe and the United States.

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

Police said the main operatives were based in Barcelona.

They said traffickers charged €40,000 to €50,000 for each person to provide false identities and transport Chinese citizens to the US and countries such as Spain, France, Greece, Italy, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Turkey.

In some cases the ring was involved in the sexual exploitation of migrants, the statement said.

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 began in July 2011. Police said the kingpin was in China and independent cells operated in different countries.