Police bust human smuggling ring in Britain, France: Europol

THE HAGUE (AFP) - Europol on Wednesday said 18 people, mostly Sri Lankans, were arrested in joint police raids in Britain and France on suspicion of being part of a human trafficking ring that smuggled South Asian immigrants into Britain.

"During the joint operation, 11 suspects were arrested in the UK and seven in France. All persons arrested, except (for) one Dutch national, were of Sri Lankan origin," it said in a statement.

The police, who were also assisted by German officers, seized computers, documents, mobile phones and "a significant amount" of cash in Wednesday's dawn raids.

Europol said the immigrants, who were mostly Sri Lankan nationals, paid around 5,000 euros (S$8,000) to be smuggled into Britain via Germany and the French Channel ports.

It also said some of them then travelled on to the United States with the help of falsified documents.