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Greeks, Georgians Smash Human-Trafficking Ring

25 December 2005 -- Police in Greece and Georgia arrested at least 20 members of an international human-trafficking ring in simultaneous raids in the Greek and Georgian capitals, Athens and Tbilisi.

Greek radio said today that among the detainees were seven employees of an Athens-based travel agency. They are suspected of using bus trips from Georgia to Greece via Turkey, organized legally by the agency, to transport illegal immigrants.

Immigrants were initially carried across borders hidden in the luggage storage space of the buses before the agency began issuing them with false travel documents.

The smugglers reportedly transported up to 200 illegal immigrants over the past few months, receiving 1,500-2,000 euros per person.