Authorities in England, France and Belgium have broken up a major human trafficking ring that preyed on immigrants from the Middle East and Afghanistan.
The UK Border Agency raided 35 locations yesterday while France and Belgium carried out 40 raids. The raids were spread out over the entire countries instead of focusing on only one major city.
“We believe this to be one of the biggest operations of its kind ever undertaken in the UK, involving officers the length and breadth of the country,” Chris Foster of the UKBA told the BBC.
British officers made 26 arrests as a result of the sweep.
“The organized criminal gangs involved in people smuggling prey on the desperation of others in order to line their own pockets,” Immigration minister Mark Harper told the press.
French and Belgian officials have not yet released statements about the raids outlining their total arrests.