November 15, 2017 / 4:42 PM / a year ago

Migrant-smuggling gang caught in Bulgaria

SOFIA (Reuters) - Bulgarian authorities have smashed a gang suspected of smuggling migrants into Western Europe, prosecutors said in a statement on Wednesday.

Bulgarian special police force officers are pictured after detaining a suspect during an operation in an unknown location in Bulgaria, November 14, 2017. Bulgarian Interior Ministry Press Office/Handout via REUTERS

Eight people, including two Pakistanis, were charged with smuggling offences after they transported migrants, mainly Pakistanis, Afghans and Iraqis, from Turkey into Romania and then to Hungary and Austria, the statement said.

Six members of the gang were detained following a coordinated operation in Sofia and the Danube towns of Vidin and Lom on Tuesday.

The migrants had paid between 4,000 euros ($4,700) and 6,000 euros each, the prosecutors said.

Bulgaria has built a fence on its border with Turkey and has bolstered its border controls to prevent inflows of illegal migrants.

Reporting by Angel Krasimirov; editing by Andrew Roche

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