Algeria police disband Syria-Europe trafficking network
Algerian authorities have dismantled an international network specialising in trafficking people through Algeria to Europe, local media reported on Wednesday.
The agency specialising in tackling organised crime arrested nine Syrians and six Algerians suspected of belonging to the group which trafficked Syrians and Lebanese, the report said.
Millions of Syrians have been uprooted by 12 years of war in their country, and almost one million are in Germany. Lebanese have also been fleeing their country's economic collapse.
During a five-month investigation, the Algerian police uncovered a network transporting the migrants to Benghazi airport in Libya, according to news website Ennaharonline.
The migrants would then be taken by road to the Libyan town of Ghadames, from which they would cross the border on remote paths through the desert to Debdeb on the Algerian side.
Finally they would be taken to the western Algerian city of Oran to prepare for clandestine sea crossings to Europe, according to Ennaharonline.
Such crossing attempts claim the lives of thousands of migrants each year.
The website said migrants had to pay "exorbitant" sums in foreign currency to reach Europe.
During the operation, the police also reportedly seized more than $11,000 along with almost 9,000 euros.