A joint Spanish and French police investigation has busted a gang that allegedly was smuggling Chinese citizens into Europe and the United States the Associated Press reports.
The Spanish Interior Ministry says 75 people have been arrested, 51 in Spain and 24 in France, noting that some of the people trafficked ended up in the sex trade.
Two people arrested in Barcelona are suspected heads of the organisation in Europe. The gang’s main European hub was Barcelona airport, which served as a stopping-off point for Chinese while false documents were prepared.
The AP reports that the gang allegedly charged up to $US66,700 to transport Chinese nationals to the U.S., Britain, Spain, France, Greece, Italy, and Turkey.
People all over the world migrate and seek asylum for various reasons, most of them having to do civil unrest and war.
The Guardian notes that almost 8,000 migrants and asylum seekers, the vast majority of which were from north Africa, landed on the coasts of southern Italy alone in the first half of the year, according to the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR).
On Saturday at dawn the 60-foot-long fishing boat carrying about 120 migrants ran aground about 40 yards from a beach near the city of Catania off Sicily. Six people, who were apparently unable to swim, drowned.
Italian coastguard spokesman Roberto D’Arrigo told Sky Italia television that the 120 migrants were mainly from Syria and Egypt.
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