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Investigators arrested 75 people traffickers in the operation – 51 in Spain and 24 in France, the Spanish Ministry of Interior said. Two of the suspected ringleaders were arrested in Barcelona, authorities said.
While the majority of arrests were made in Barcelona, there were also detentions in Madrid, Girona, Alicante, Mahon (Menorca), Malaga, Palma de Mallorca and Reus, which is south of Barcelona
The investigation, which was launched in 2011, revealed that a person was smuggled into European countries such as Spain, France, Greece, Italy, the UK and the US for a fee of up to $67,000. Some of the smuggled peoples were also sexually exploited, the police said.
In addition to the arrests, police also confiscated 81 false passports from countries such as Korea, Malaysia, Japan, and Singapore, and Chinese currency.
The EU has recognized people smuggling and illegal immigration in Spain and Italy as growing problems.