2005 Raids by police in the United Kingdom, Italy, France, Greece and Turkey have resulted in the smashing of an international people smuggling ring that made million of euros trafficking people from the Middle East.  Criminal groups in the United Kingdom, Greece, Norway, Sweden, Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan were involved in the ring that smuggled most of the migrants in boats.

Immigrants and their families, were forced to pay huge sums to get to Europe, or, in rare cases, North America.

The network, set up five years ago and run by an Iraqi Kurd, 30-year-old Ali Ako – nicknamed Arsalan – was allegedly  managed from Rome.

The three-year operation netted 53 alleged smugglers.  Paris prosecutor Jean-Claude Marin said 22 of them were in France, 18 in Italy, seven in Britain, three in Turkey and three in Greece.

It was “the biggest-ever simultaneous operation ever conducted on an international level” by agencies tackling people-smuggling, Mr Marin said.


2011  Still trying to stem the tide of illegal immigration, Italian authorities have recently broken up an Afghan-people-smuggling ring.  Arrested in this case were 26 alleged smugglers in Italy.  Further arrests in France and Germany are expected.