QUITO, May 16, 2013 (AFP) – A ring that smuggled immigrants from India and Sri Lanka into the United States through Ecuador has been broken up with the arrest of six people, Ecuadoran authorities said Thursday. Police, who said the arrests were made following a two-month investigation, seized documents, laptop computers and nearly $100,000 in cash. Three Indian nationals and two members of Ecuador’s immigration police were among the six people arrested in the port city of Guayaquil, where the smuggling network operated, officials said.
“They brought in nationals from India and Sri Lanka, and arranged refuge for them in various hotels,” said Guayaquil police chief General Patricio Pazmino.
Deputy Interior Minister Xavier Cordoba said the smugglers charged $5,000 per person. After entering Ecuador illegally, the migrants would be sent to Central America and from there to the United States.