Seven immigration criminals have been arrested in London raids targeting a gang suspected of trafficking Iranian asylum seekers into the UK using budget airlines such as Ryanair.
Six men and one woman were held at addresses in the Mill Hill and Edgware area of north London on Monday, the UK Border Agency (UKBA) reported.
A further 11 people were arrested in raids in Madrid and Alicante.
The UKBA has been working with Spanish police and have received cooperation from budget airlines including Ryanair.
Spanish police confirmed that about 20 Iranians per month were attempting to enter the UK via Europe, mostly through London Stansted in Essex and Manchester airports on budget airlines.
Investigators believe that they paid the gangs up to £14,000 each to get to Britain. With that sort of monet they could have come to the UK legally on a student visa!
Chris Foster, from UKBA, said: “People-smuggling is an international crime which requires international co-operation, so we have been working very closely with our Spanish law-enforcement colleagues from the outset.”
Those arrested have all been held on suspicion of conspiring to facilitate an asylum seeker for gain.
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