Human trafficking ring busted

2009-06-09 17:47

kalahari.com

  • Human Trafficking
    Author Bright Mills follows the trend of human trafficking, the modern-day form of slavery Now R46.00
    buy now

Rome - Police cracked down on a human trafficking organisation on Tuesday that smuggled thousands of Iraqi Kurds into Europe aboard trucks, sometimes stuffing them into cages or hiding them in empty vending machines, authorities said.

In the coordinated police operation, authorities issued 46 arrest warrants. Most of the suspects were picked up in 16 Italian cities, but 14 were detained abroad, mainly in Germany, but also in France, England, Belgium, Switzerland, Greece and Sweden, police said.

"They treated these people like merchandise. They pushed them into every sort of container, among the watermelons, among pieces of steel," said Venice police official Alessandro Giuliano, who coordinated the operation, which was dubbed Ticket to ride.

Police in Rome said the secret organisation had smuggled thousands of Iraqi Kurds into Europe beginning in 2006, with at least three dying while in transit.

The Kurds travelled from war-torn Iraq through Turkey to Greece, where smugglers hid them inside trucks that crossed the Adriatic on ferries and docked in Italy, Giuliano said.

Hidden in machines and cages

Some of the illegal immigrants were hidden inside empty drink vending machines and cages loaded on the trucks, police said.

At least three Iraqi Kurds being smuggled into Europe died of suffocation because of how they were hidden. Their bodies were found in 2007 in a truck loaded with watermelons on its way to Venice from Greece, Giuliano said.

The illegal immigrants allegedly paid from €2 884) to €5 770 each for their journey.

The smugglers had bases in Iraq and Turkey, police said.

Hundreds of Italian police worked on the Ticket to ride investigation, which began when 36 illegal immigrants were found hiding in a truck travelling to Italy from Greece in 2006.

Italy has long been battling waves of illegal immigration, with most of the media attention focusing on the hundreds of people who arrive in overcrowded boats from Africa.

But illegal immigrants also try to slip into Italy at ports in cargo trucks, arriving from Greece and other countries. They either stay in Italy clandestinely or travel elsewhere in Europe to search for jobs or relatives.

In a separate operation, anti-fraud police said Tuesday that 24 Kurds, including five children and two women, were found hiding in a truck headed to Switzerland from northern Italy. Authorities said the truck's driver, a 53-year-old German man, was arrested on charges of aiding illegal immigration.

- SAPA

Read more on:    human trafficking
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
 

Inside News24

 
 

Shilowa supports Vote No campaign

Former Gauteng premier Mbhazima Shilowa has come out in support of the Vote No! Campaign launched recently by former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils and former deputy health minister Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge, says a report.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Samsung Galaxy Note 16GB

GALAXY Note combines the market's largest HD Super AMOLED display,...

From R3899.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be good at organising events but they do take their toll on your energy levels. You may need some time out today just to...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.