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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 April 2006, 04:40 GMT 05:40 UK
Canada human traffickers arrested
By Ian Gunn
BBC News, Vancouver

Canadian and US police have broken up a human smuggling ring which they accused of illegally transporting dozens of South Asian migrants into the US.

Court documents say the Vancouver-based ring charged about $30,000 to smuggle people into the US from Canada.

Four men, including the alleged ringleader, have been arrested.

Police say they infiltrated the group and watched as it helped about 50 Pakistanis and Indians travel through Canada into the US over the past year.

Canadian police described South Asian citizens being flown into Toronto on false passports and then transported to Vancouver where they were hidden in suburban homes.

Then, the police say, the ring chose deserted locations along the border and shuttled the illegal migrants into the US.

Court documents say people paid the smugglers between $20,000 - $35,000 for each for the trip.

Four men, including a Canadian whom police describe as the ringleader, have been arrested in Vancouver, where police say the operation was based.

At least eight other arrests have been made in Canada and the US state of Washington.

Since the 11 September attacks in 2001, security along the long border between Canada and the US has been tightened, but it is the world's longest international border and much of it lies in remote or agricultural land so it can be very hard for officials to patrol.


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