Italian police have arrested 25 Eritreans and 12 Ethiopians suspected of smuggling thousands of migrants into Europe from Africa.
The suspects are also accused of drug trafficking and financial crimes and were tracked following an alert from an Eritrean man in 2014.
His testimony helped the police to raid a small perfume shop in Rome where they seized a reasonable amount of cash and a book containing information on the migrant smugglers.
The ring had been operating using a banking system that uses brokers outside traditional channels so that actual money should not exchange hands.
The suspected smugglers allegedly facilitated trips to Europe through Libya in uncertified boats .
Close to 60.000 migrants have arrived in Italy by boat this year.