Finland arrests suspected traffickers bringing migrants from Turkey

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 15, 2015 5:54 AM

HELSINKI (Reuters) - The Finnish Border Guard said on Thursday it was investigating a ring of human traffickers suspected of illegally smuggling at least 100 people from Turkey to Finland over the last year.

The Border Guard and the Swedish police last month arrested a total of 15 men in the two countries on charges of transporting the migrants through Sweden to Finland by land, sea and air for high fees.

A Border Guard official told the Finnish national broadcaster YLE that the suspects were of Iraqi background and residents of Finland or Sweden.

It was not immediately known where the migrants originally came from. Many refugees from war in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan cross Turkey on their way to Europe.

The Finnish government estimates 30,000-35,000 people will seek asylum in Finland this year. So far this year, 22,000 asylum seekers have arrived in Finland, mostly from Iraq, up from 3,600 people in 2014.

(Reporting by Anna Ercanbrack; Editing by Tom Heneghan)