European Police Break Major Nigerian Human Trafficking Ring

TOPSHOT - Migrants wait to be rescued by the Aquarius rescue ship run by non-governmental organisations (NGO) 'SOS Mediterranee' and 'Medecins Sans Frontieres' (Doctors Without Borders) in the Mediterranean Sea, 30 nautic miles from the Libyan coast, on August 2, 2017. Italy on August 2, 2017 began enforcing a controversial …
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MADRID (AP) — The European Union’s law enforcement agency says police have smashed a Nigerian organized crime ring in one of the largest European operations against human trafficking.

Europol says the Nigerian gang trafficked victims to Europe through Libya and Italy, forcing women into prostitution to pay for their journey.

Spain’s Guardia Civil carried out 41 house searches in 11 Spanish cities, while Britain’s National Crime Agency mounted raids in Manchester. Europol says the criminal ring was active in multiple EU countries.

A Europol statement Thursday says it blocked bank accounts that laundered more than 300,000 euros ($370,000) for the organization. It says 89 people were arrested and 39 victims rescued.

The statement did not say when the operation took place.

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