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Germany arrests 10 for ‘trafficking wealthy Chinese, Arabs’

Nationwide raids in Germany linked to far-right group: prosecutors
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German investigators arrested 10 people in nationwide raids on Wednesday, over suspicions they were part of a network smuggling in wealthy migrants from China and the Arab world.

Prosecutors identified the alleged ringleaders as a pair of lawyers, who charged “wealthy nationals of China and the Arab world” between 30,000 and 350,000 euros ($32,000 and $373,000) each to obtain permanent residence in Germany.

The residence permits were issued by officials in four districts, including the western cities of Kerpen and Solingen, prosecutors said.

Among the suspects detained is an official who allegedly received bribes from the network.

Police are investigating 38 suspected members of the smuggling gang, as well as 147 people believed to have been trafficked into the country.

More than 1,000 police officers were mobilised in the search of 101 properties, including two legal practices and the district offices where residence permits were issued.

German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said such “high pressure” was necessary against criminal gangs.

Germany has been battling to crack down on human traffickers, in particular those who are exploiting people fleeing conflicts in the Middle East or Africa.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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