10 people arrested in North Macedonia in people-smuggling raids

Authorities in North Macedonia say they have arrested 10 men as suspected members of an international human-trafficking ring after a nearly two-year investigation.

SKOPJE, North Macedonia — Authorities in North Macedonia said Monday that 10 men have been arrested as suspected members of an international human-trafficking ring following a nearly two-year investigation.

In a statement on Monday, police described the group as a sophisticated criminal organization that traveled between Greece and Hungary, as well as from Bulgaria and Serbia to various destinations in the European Union, and charged 2,000 to 4,000 euros ($2,140 to $4,280) for each migrant.

Investigators have identified seven more suspected members of the organization, three of them are already in prison for separate crimes, and four are under arrest.

The police raided 11 locations in three cities in North Macedonia. The 10 arrested suspects and their alleged accomplices are charged with human trafficking, which carries a minimum sentence of five years in prison.

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Smuggling activity in the region has increased in recent weeks, partly due to low water levels along the Evros River, which forms a natural border between Turkey and the European Union’s Greece. On Sunday, Greek authorities rescued 91 migrants, mostly from Syria, from an island in the Evros River and transported them to a nearby processing center.


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Source: https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/10-arrested-north-macedonia-people-smuggling-raids-99850199