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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 April, 2005, 15:15 GMT 16:15 UK
Dutch 'smash Chinese labour gang'
Amsterdam's Schiphol airport
Schiphol airport: Police say two employees helped the gang
Dutch police say they have smashed a gang accused of smuggling Chinese asylum seekers, including children, and selling them as cheap labour.

Welfare workers had reported some young Chinese asylum seekers disappearing from their temporary homes. Some are said to have been sold to brothels.

In a five-month operation, 18 people were arrested across the Netherlands, Schiphol airport police said.

Up to 20 children are believed to have been smuggled through the airport.

The gang sent them to other countries such as Italy and France, where they were sold, police said. Only two have been found.

Two suspects employed at Schiphol, near Amsterdam, allegedly helped the operation. The gang is said to have sold the migrants for up to $19,000 (10,100) per person.

Most of the suspects are Dutch citizens of Chinese origin.

One has Turkish nationality, another Bulgarian.

The group is to be charged with human trafficking - which experts say is a global industry worth about $10bn a year.


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SEE ALSO:
China stops baby trafficking ring
03 Feb 05 |  Asia-Pacific
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16 Dec 04 |  Asia-Pacific
China executes child traffickers
10 Dec 04 |  Asia-Pacific
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03 Nov 04 |  Europe


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