NEWS

Police free 57 migrant hostages

Police yesterday arrested three members of a suspected human-trafficking ring believed to have held 57 illegal immigrants in a derelict house in Koropi, east of Athens, while demanding thousands of euros from their relatives for their release. The migrants, whose ethnic origins were not determined, had been beaten and deprived of food and water for days, according to police, who traced them after being tipped off. Three of the migrants who were in a particularly bad state were hospitalized, police said. The three men, aged 42, 36 and 19 and believed to form part of an international smuggling ring, allegedly collected the would-be migrants from the region of Evros a few days ago and transported them by truck to the house in Koropi. They are then alleged to have beaten and tortured the migrants while demanding between 3,500 and 5,000 euros from the relatives of each to ensure their safe return. Police are seeking more suspected members of the same ring.