Oct 13, 2000 (AFP) - Iran has arrested 21 smugglers since the
beginning of the Iranian year in March as regional trafficking in
human beings has risen sharply, the head of Iran's Interpol bureau
figure is unprecedented in the past 20 years," said Arsalan
Monaem, quoted by the state IRNA news agency late Thursday.
"This has become one of the most profitable
added that eight people belonging to a smuggling ring "from a
neighbouring country" were recently arrested in the southern
city of Shiraz and were deported to their nation of origin. He did
not name the country.
Jame-Jam newspaper last month reported it had uncovered a
smuggling network based in Turkey that it said was providing
women, many of them underage, with fake passports and transporting
them to European and Persian Gulf countries, where they were often
forced into prostitution.
conservative paper said its reporter had discovered at least one
16-year-old girl who had no visa to leave the country but had been
smuggled to Turkey and sold to a 58-year-old
European national for 20,000 dollars.