German police conduct raid against group of suspected human smugglers

German police conducted a major raid against a group of suspected people smugglers early Wednesday, German news agency dpa reported.

Around 400 officers, among them federal police and GSG 9 special units, searched more than 20 apartments and offices, mainly in Berlin, but also in the eastern state of Saxony-Anhalt.

Five men were arrested, four of them in Berlin and one in the city of Halle, while another 12 suspects were under investigation, dpa reported.

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The group is said to have brought at least 90 people, mostly from Turkey and Iraq, to Germany, with each paying several thousand euros.

They were flown from Istanbul by plane to the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo. From there, they continued their trip to Germany by car across the so-called Balkan route. Some of them were discovered in the apartments that police searched on Wednesday.

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The suspects have mainly Turkish or German citizenships, according to police.