Europol breaks up $1.1M child-trafficking, pickpocketing scheme

By Ed Adamczyk  |  Feb. 12, 2016 at 7:01 AM
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LYON, France, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- Europol announced Friday it helped French and Romanian authorities break up a pickpocketing and human-trafficking network bringing in more $1 million.

Eighteen people were arrested for allegedly forcing underage Romanians into the organized crime network. The minors were made to assist in begging, handling stolen goods, money laundering and pickpocketing, largely in Paris locations where tourists congregate.

Europol said daily profits were about $7,900 and total profits around $1.1 million.

Four houses in France and 10 in Romania were simultaneously searched in the raid leading to the arrests. Police found jewelry, gold, televisions, luxury watches and about $28,000 in cash.

Europol said the crime network was "organized on a family and clan-kinship basis."

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