Ecuador smashes India-to-US migrant smuggling ring

Three Indian nationals were among the six people arrested.

Written by AFP | Quito | Published: May 16, 2013 10:49:30 pm

A ring that smuggled immigrants from India and Sri Lanka into the US through Ecuador has been broken up with the arrest of six people,Ecuadoran authorities said today.

Three Indian nationals and two members of Ecuador’s immigration police were among the six people arrested in the port city of Guayaquil,where the smuggling network operated,officials said.

“They brought in nationals from India and Sri Lanka,and arranged refuge for them in various hotels,” said Guayaquil police chief General Patricio Pazmino.

Deputy Interior Minister Xavier Cordoba said the smugglers charged USD 5,000 per person. After entering Ecuador illegally,the migrants would be sent to Central America and from there to the United States.

Police,who said the arrests were made following a two-month investigation,seized documents,laptop computers and nearly USD 100,000 in cash.

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