'People smugglers' held in Athens

A gang of suspected people traffickers has been arrested Friday for holding hostage 60 illegal immigrants, Greek police say.

Source: BBC
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The suspects are accused of trying to get the captives to pay about EUR 1,900 each for their passage into Greece. The immigrants - thought to be mostly Somalis - were held in two flats in Athens, authorities say.

Greece is a major transport hub for many immigrants heading to Europe.

The immigrants had arrived on the island of Evia near Athens by boat after stopping off in Turkey, according to police.Thirty-two were being held in a flat in the suburb of Nikea, and 28 others in a basement in the central neighborhood of Exarchia.

Police said the migrants were crammed into modified "prison-like" rooms, with barred windows and security doors. According to the Greek news website Ekathimerini, the suspects include three Afghans and an Iranian national.

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