|Austrian police bust human-smuggling ring
Austrian police have recently busted an international people-smuggling ring based out of Kosovo, police in the state of Burgenland said Wednesday.
Since December, at least nine suspects have been arrested, the Austrian Press Agency reported, adding that investigators have been observing the gang for several months.
The ring is suspected of transporting people of various nationalities from Serbia into Hungary and then into Austria.
According to the reports, Austrian police cooperated with authorities in Kosovo and Budapest to identify the head of the operations in Kosovo, who was then arrested along with five suspected accomplices.
Another 16 suspects were identified in Budapest, two of whom were then arrested.
Among the arrested in Austria is a 43-year-old step-brother of the alleged gang leaders in Kosovo. He was suspected to be responsible for housing the individuals in an apartment in the city of Lilienfeld in Lower Austria before transporting them on to Germany or Switzerland.
The gang reportedly charged about 2,500 to 3,500 dollars per person for the transportation. --Xinhua