French and Dutch police have arrested 23 suspected members of a criminal network that has smuggled as many as 10,000 migrants from France to Britain, according to the European police agency Europol.
The network was suspected of earning 70 million euros ($77.6 million) in profits by organizing illegal passages for migrants from Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq and Iran, Europol said Thursday.
The migrants traveled to Britain from around the western French cities of Le Mans and Poitiers. Many of them faced life-threatening conditions, hidden in refrigerator trucks crossing the English Channel by ferry or undersea train. As many as 20 migrants were held in each truck and each paid as much as 7,000 euros ($7,760) for the crossing, Europol said.