Iran detains 121 Afghans, foils human trafficking bid

April 12th, 2009 - 7:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Tehran, April 12 (IANS) Iranian officials have foiled a major human trafficking attempt by detaining 121 Afghan nationals who had illegally entered the country, IRNA reported Sunday, quoting authorities.
Six people have also been arrested for trafficking the Afghans, who were detained from Mehriz, a border city in Iran’s Yazd province, provincial authorities said.

The officials also seized four vehicles used to transport the Afghans to Iran, a major transit point for human smuggling from Afghanistan to Europe.

According to officials, the traffickers pick poor Afghans on the pretext of better jobs and livelihood, and smuggle them to European countries through Iran.

Earlier this month, about 50 people were found dead inside a container near Quetta, the capital city of Pakistan’s Balochistan province. These people were reportedly being transported from Afghanistan to Iran via Pakistan.

With the standard of living deteriorating in Afghanistan, which is plagued by growing insurgency, people in the war-torn country are trying to flee to other countries in search of a better living.

But, most of them fall prey in the hands of human traffickers who smuggle the poor Afghans to European countries for purpose of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labour.

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