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People-smuggling gang is smashed.

POLICE have smashed a people-smuggling ring which brought illegal immigrants into Britain, under the guise of artistes for Asian pubs and clubs in the West Midlands.

Once inside the country, the "artistes" all disappeared.

Detectives believe the gang responsible has smuggled hundreds of illegal immigrants into the UK. The traffickers would obtain work permits for "performers" from Amritsar, in the Punjab.

The permits indicated they would be taking part in stage acts in Wolverhampton and Birmingham.

Permits were then sent to India allowing those who had them to apply in New Delhi for entry visas.

The scam was exposed in an 18-month investigation by the National Crime Squad.

Thirteen people were arrested yesterday in raids on six addresses in Wolverhampton, West Bromwich and other parts of the region.
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Aug 28, 2003
Words:128
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