A combined effort between the French Border Guard (Police nationale) and Dutch Royal Marechaussee (Koninklijke Marechaussee) has uncovered an international migrant smuggling ring resulting in the arrests of 23 people.
Of the 23, 19 were arrested in France and 4 in the Netherlands with seizures of firearms and vehicles. The migrants discovered were also brought to safety.
The smuggling ring had been responsible for facilitating the transport of around 10,000 Afghan, Iranian, Iraqi-Kurdish and Syrian migrants from Le Mans and Poiters, France to the United Kingdom, and doing so in unsafe conditions. These conditions included the travelers’ concealment in refrigerated lorries, often overcrowded with up to 20 per truck. Migrants paid up to €7000 for the journey, and the money was collected via a Netherlands based hawala banking system.
The ring is believed to have made €70 million in profit.
Featured Image: U.S. Customs and Border Protection [Public domain]