Huge trafficking operation smashed as Yard holds suspected ringleaders

The Guardian
Rosie Cowan, crime correspondent
October 12, 2005

  • ‘Tens of thousands’ of Turkish Kurds smuggled
  • Two-year inquiry ends with 19 arrests in raids

The suspected ringleaders of what could be Europe’s biggest trafficking ring were being questioned by detectives last night about an operation which is thought to have brought tens of thousands of illegal immigrants into the UK.

Officers arrested 19 people – three of whom are the alleged linchpins of the network, and others key lieutenants – when they stormed 12 houses in north, east and west London and one in Boston, Lincolnshire. Scotland Yard chiefs believe the ring is the biggest criminal enterprise of its type they have encountered. Police sources described the multimillion-pound racket, which involved hundreds of handlers smuggling tens of thousands of people – the vast majority Turkish Kurds – across Europe into Britain, as “absolutely massive” and “frightening” in scale. read more..

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