NEWS

Four Iraqi traffickers caught in Thessaloniki

Police in Thessaloniki have arrested four suspected human traffickers and the 19 illegal migrants from Iraq that they were allegedly harboring in the city until their relatives paid a 3,500-euro fee for their release. Officers said yesterday that the four Iraqi smugglers were part of a ring that was helping migrants aged 16-40 to reach Athens via Turkey. The migrants were kept in safe houses in Thessaloniki until the ring was paid. Police are looking for another three men in connection with the case after discovering that the migrants had been supplied with stolen residence permits. «The permit was authentic but the details on it were false,» said the head of the immigration department of the Thessaloniki Police, Michail Seferidis. «The permits were from a batch that was stolen last October from the Municipality of Argyroupolis in Athens.»