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'People smugglers' arrested in Gothenburg

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17:27 CET+01:00
Fourteen people were arrested on Tuesday in Sweden suspected of illegally smuggling and planning to smuggle people primarily from Iraq to the Scandinavian country, police said.

The 14 were taken into custody after raids on several addresses in and around Gothenburg on Sweden's southwestern coast.

Those arrested were suspected of "planning to smuggle people, people smuggling and falsification of documents," police said in a statement.

The suspects are believed to have smuggled primarily asylum seekers from Iraq.

The offences were committed from 2006 up until Tuesday, police said.

Police did not disclose the suspects' nationalities, nor the number of people they smuggled into Sweden.

Tuesday's arrests were the latest in a series involving suspects believed to have smuggled people from Iraq to Sweden, amid a large influx of Iraqi asylum seekers to the Scandinavian country.

In 2006, a total of 9,065 Iraqis sought asylum in Sweden, compared to 2,330 the previous year, according to the Swedish government.

Sweden currently takes in more than half of all Iraqi asylum seekers to the European Union, the government has said.

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