Police in China and France have dismantled a network that tried to smuggle Chinese migrants into Italy and Spain on boats, officials said Thursday.
The French Immigration Ministry said several members of the network headed by a Chinese national living in Paris and a number of illegal immigrants were arrested July 27 during simultaneous operations in France and China. The ministry did not detail the number of arrests.
Investigations showed that each illegal migrant paid between 12,000 (15,852 U.S. dollars) and 15,000 euros (18,915 U.S. dollars) to book a ticket to Europe.
France hailed police efforts and called for stronger cooperation ties with China to crack down on human trafficking.
"I congratulated the teams ... for dismantling an important network of illegal immigration from China, to Italy, Spain and Luxembourg, whose principal organizers were based in Paris and Shanghai," said Eric Besson, the French Minister of Immigration, Integration, National Identity and Solidarity Development.