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Russian Agents Break Up Major People Smuggling Ring


Russian security services have broken up a major people smuggling ring that may have also provided transport for terrorists.

Federal Security Service spokesman Sergei Ignatchenko Thursday said the ring helped illegal migrants enter France, Spain, and the United States.

Mr. Ignatchenko said the network was brought down in close cooperation with those countries' security services, and with the help of Russia's interior ministry.

He said the network helped smuggle more than 1,000 people since 2001, mostly from Southeast Asian and former Soviet countries. He said some of those individuals were suspected of having ties to terrorist organizations.

The spokesman said the operation was run by two Russian nationals, who were helped by Russian officials and airport workers who were supposed to prevent people smuggling.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.

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