Albania arrests 32 for people smuggling

Police also discovers four workshops producing fake documents

Afp February 03, 2019
Albanian police dismantled the biggest human trafficking ring uncovered since the start of the migrant crisis. PHOTO: AFP

Albanian police said on Saturday they arrested 32 people suspected of being part of a ring smuggling people to the European Union, the United States and Canada with fake documents.

A police officer was among those arrested while police were still looking for four other people believed to be part of the criminal ring, a police statement said.

The group also forged documents for dangerous criminals sought by the authorities, it said.

Migrants paid around $13,000 (11,300 euros) for travel documents for Britain and up to $23,00 for the US and Canada.

They were smuggled through Montenegro, Italy, Greece, France and Norway, the statement said.

Police also discovered four workshops producing fake documents as well as a large quantity of fake passports, seals and various documents.

Albania in March arrested 39 people, including four police officers, suspected of having smuggled some 1,000 Albanians to Britain, the US and Canada.

Albanians need visas to travel to Britain, Canada or the US.

The fight against organised crime and corruption is key part of Albania's EU membership bid.

The Balkans country hopes to kickstart EU accession talks this year.


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