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23 suspected smugglers arrested in raids across Europe

Published 02/12/2015

The suspects were detained in simultaneous police operations in Greece, Austria, Sweden and Britain
The suspects were detained in simultaneous police operations in Greece, Austria, Sweden and Britain

Twenty three suspects have been arrested in raids targeting an organised crime gang believed to have smuggled thousands of migrants into Europe, the European Union's police agency has said.

Europol said the suspects were detained in simultaneous police operations in Greece, Austria, Sweden and Britain.

The agency, which helped coordinate the raids, said the gang is believed to have earned nearly 10 million euros (£7 million) by smuggling around 100 migrants per day since operations started in 2013.

The suspects included mainly Syrians and Greeks. The alleged ringleader was arrested in the British city of Liverpool. None of their identities have been released.

Europol said the gang is believed to have smuggled migrants, most of them Syrians arriving from Turkey, through Greece and then via the Balkans to other EU member states.

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