Police break up human-trafficking ring

Dec. 13, 2012 at 1:53 PM

VENICE, Italy, Dec. 13 (UPI) -- Police in Venice on Thursday broke up an alleged human-trafficking and prostitution crime ring, arresting 11 people and seizing assets, officials said.

The alleged criminal organization was run by Chinese nationals and ''white collar'' Italians, Italy's ANSA news agency reported.

Police said the organization helped Chinese families reunite in Italy, but often forced recently arrived Chinese people into prostitution. The Italians involved in the organization helped the Chinese navigate Italy's immigration system, police said.

The operation against the organization took place early Thursday and led to the arrests of 11 people, and the seizure of $26.1 million worth of assets, including a hotel, Chinese massage parlors, luxury cars, bank accounts, stores and apartments, police said.

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