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FRENCH and Dutch police have arrested 23 suspected members of a network that made €70 million (£59m) from exploiting up to 10,000 vulnerable migrants, Europol said today.
The network organised passage from France to Britain for migrants from Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq and Iran, the European police agency said.
Many people fleeing war and poverty were forced to endure life-threatening conditions hidden in refrigerated lorries crossing the English Channel by ferry or train.
As many as 20 migrants were packed into the lorries, each paying around 7,000 euros (about £5,890), which was collected by a suspect in the Netherlands via an underground banking system.
Police seized firearms and vehicles in five searches and the migrants found during the operation were taken to safety, according to Europol.
Most of the arrests took place in France on Tuesday.
In October, 39 Vietnamese citizens trying to enter Britain died in a lorry’s refrigerated trailer.
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