Illegal immigrant smuggling ring busted in ………. Italy; Members smuggled in people from Afghanistan

Posted on January 12, 2011

And you thought it was just the United States that had problems with illegal immigrant smuggling.

From BBC News:

A gang which smuggled mainly Afghan migrants into Europe has been broken, European police force Europol has said.

It said the gang was responsible for smuggling about 200 illegal migrants into Europe every month, a fifth of them children.

The migrants are thought to have paid up to 5,000 euros (£4,000) to be smuggled across Europe.

The arrests on Tuesday were the result of a two-year Europol investigation which included house searches during which some of the smuggled children were found.

Most of the migrants began their journey in Afghanistan before travelling through Pakistan, Iran and Turkey to Greece, from where they were moved on into western Europe.

Europol said those behind the gang used false EU identity documents and transferred funds using the popular Hawala transfer system.

Piero Saviotti, a prosecutor in Rome, said some of those arrested were “suspected of involvement in international terrorism”, AFP news agency reports. (emphasis mine)

I’d be willing to bet that not only some of the smugglers were involved in international terrorism, but some of those smuggled in are probably involved as well.  There is no telling where those people are now.