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Algeria dismantles migrant smuggling network to Europe

Algeria dismantles migrant smuggling network to Europe
Syrian Kurdish migrants wait at a meeting point in the desert near the border ...   -  
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Algerian authorities have dismantled an international network of migrant smugglers to Europe through Algeria, local media reported on Wednesday.

Fifteen members of this network, nine Syrians and six Algerians were arrested by the central service for the fight against organized crime (SCLCO) and presented to justice on Wednesday.

The investigation, which lasted nearly five months, allowed the Algerian police to trace the network which transported migrants from Syria and Lebanon to Benghazi airport in Libya, according to Ennharonline.

The migrants are then taken by road to the Libyan town of Ghadames from where they are smuggled to Algeria via the border town of Debdeb, following winding desert paths, according to these media.

The members of this network then ensured the transport of migrants to Oran, the large metropolis of western Algeria, a place of regrouping of candidates for the clandestine crossing to Europe, according to Ennharonline.

Migrants had to pay "exorbitant" sums in foreign currency to reach Europe. During this operation, the police seized more than 11,000 dollars, 8,920 euros as well as sums in Lebanese and Syrian pounds.

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