BERLIN (AP) – Authorities in southern Germany have arrested two Syrian men on suspicion of people smuggling.
Prosecutors in Stuttgart say the two men, aged 31 and 33, were arrested in the nearby Ludwigsburg region.
Police also searched 10 premises in two German states.
Prosecutors said Tuesday that their investigation is focusing on nine men aged between 29 and 52. Five are said to be Syrian, with the others hailing from Iraq, Lebanon, Turkey and Germany.
The 33-year-old is accused of helping Syrians and Iraqis illegally enter Germany. Prosecutors discovered the smuggling ring while investigating him for alleged past membership of Syria’s Nusra Front.
The 31-year-old is alleged to have provided fake documents for migrants and obtained fraudulent loans.
The unnamed men are accused of trying to establish “a long-term source of income.”