Czech police: ring smuggling migrants from Asia broken up

PRAGUE — Czech police say they have broken up an international ring smuggling migrants from southeast Asia to western Europe.

They say 12 members of the group, nationals of unspecified former Soviet republics, were arrested during raids in the Czech Republic. Other raids in the case were conducted in Slovakia, Poland and Ukraine this week.

Police say the group was organizing transports of migrants who originated in Vietnam, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka mostly to Germany, France and Britain. The migrants had to pay up to $22,000 for the whole trip.

Police said Friday they have documented at least 16 cases of attempts to transport 100 migrants to Europe.

The smugglers face up to 10 years in prison.

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