NEWS: Spanish Police Arrest 16 Chinese in Human Smuggling Ring Bust

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Subject: NEWS: Spanish Police Arrest 16 Chinese in Human Smuggling Ring Bust
From: Jyothi Kanics (jkanics@igc.apc.org)
Date: Tue Feb 09 1999 - 18:51:40 EST


Since these migrants had their documents taken from them and were placed in
debt-bondage forced labor situations,this would be a case of trafficking,
not smuggling...

Spanish Police Arrest 16 Chinese in Human Smuggling Ring Bust

MADRID, Feb. 08, 1999 -- (Agence France Presse) Spanish police arrested 16
Chinese people in the areas around Madrid and Barcelona in a swoop on an
international network smuggling Asians into Spain and other European
states, police said Saturday.

The arrests included seven leaders of the large network, the police said.

The other detainees were immigrants whose papers were not in order.

The crackdown began in mid-1998 after police noticed large numbers of
Asians, in particular Chinese, who were arriving in Europe with passports
that had been forged in Hong Kong and Bangkok.

Immigrants trying to reach Spain promised to pay the network between two
and four million pesetas ($14,000-$28,000 or 12,000-24,000 euros).

Once they arrived in Europe, the network took away their passports and
forced them to work as virtual slave labor in restaurants or sweat shops,
the police said.

The smugglers threatened reprisals against the immigrants' families if they
told the authorities the truth during questioning.


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