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Police raids hit people-smuggling gang

ON MARCH 18, based on a European warrant for people smuggling, Slovak police officers detained a Slovak citizen who will be extradited to Italy for criminal prosecution, Vladimíra Hrebeňáková of the Interior Ministry told the SITA newswire.

ON MARCH 18, based on a European warrant for people smuggling, Slovak police officers detained a Slovak citizen who will be extradited to Italy for criminal prosecution, Vladimíra Hrebeňáková of the Interior Ministry told the SITA newswire.

The raid was conducted at the request of police headquarters in the Italian town of Udine. Slovak and Italian police have been cooperating to break an internationally organised network of people smugglers since June 2006, SITA reported.

The national unit of the Fight against Illegal Migration of the Office of Border and Foreign Police within the Slovak Interior Ministry conducted three house searches in which evidence of criminal activity was secured. The apprehended person also possessed an illegal weapon.

Police officers had arrested other Slovak members of this gang on November 25, 2008 and accused 17 persons of the crime of people smuggling. The Slovak branch of this international network is alleged to have smuggled at least 327 aliens from Asia, earning at least €250,000, according to SITA.

Italian police officers also took action on the same day when they carried out 12 house searches. The Italian police have accused 10 people so far of the crime of people smuggling. The Italian group allegedly smuggled at least 300 aliens from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh and earned at least €800,000.

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