Argentina arrests 7 Syrians suspected of human trafficking

Xinhua News Agency


Federal Police in Argentina have arrested seven Syrians suspected of smuggling fellow nationals into the South American country, local media reported on Sunday.

Five of the suspects were arrested on Saturday at a downtown budget hotel in the capital Buenos Aires, in possession of Greek passports reported as lost or stolen.

"The detained are suspected of belonging to a criminal organization dedicated to human trafficking and forging documents," a Federal Police investigator told the daily La Nacion.

On Thursday, another two Syrians were arrested on their way to neighboring Uruguay.

Argentina, along with other Latin American nations, has agreed to take in Syrian refugees fleeing the fighting in their homeland.

According to the daily, a judge has issued an arrest warrant for a Turkish man, named Ibrahim Dehioglu, who is believed to be operating the smuggling ring out of Argentina.

Citing judicial sources, the daily said the suspects have told authorities they left Syria via Turkey, and traveled from there to Brazil, before arriving in Argentina.

It is not the first time Syrian nationals have been found traveling with false documents in Latin America.

In November, Honduran officials arrested five Syrians trying to enter the country with stolen Greek passports. Enditem