Migrant-smuggling ring that enslaved Pakistanis in EU busted

2015-11-03 21:01


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Berlin - Twenty-nine arrests were made in Spain and Poland in raids targeting a migrant-smuggling operation that illegally brought Pakistanis to the European Union and forced them to work in slave-like conditions upon arrival, the EU law enforcement agency said on Tuesday.

A Pakistani organised crime network transported the immigrants over the Mediterranean Sea to the European Union from Libya or Turkey "in often unseaworthy boats", The Hague-based Europol said.

The new arrivals were then forced to work in kebab restaurants to pay off their transport and forged documents supplied by the criminal organization, the police agency said. Each were forced to pay about €14 000 for the journey.

The workers received no pay, holidays or social security benefits and were forced to work long hours under abusive conditions, Europol said.

The arrests were made October 24 to 25 in raids on restaurants and houses in Poland and Spain.

One of the voyages that Europol attributed to the criminal network made headlines in August after more than 40 people suffocated from fumes in the hold of a ship discovered in distress off Libya. The Italian Navy rescued the remaining 300 to 400 people on board.

Read more on:    eu  |  poland  |  spain  |  migrants

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