THE HAGUE, Netherlands – Police in four European nations have raided brothels and restaurants in a coordinated operation targeting Chinese criminal networks that they say smuggle people to the continent.
Europol, the European Union's policy agency, said Friday that the raids earlier this week in Austria, Cyprus, Slovenia and Switzerland led to 26 arrests and the identification of 14 possible victims of the smugglers.
More than 1,150 people, most of them men and women from China, were checked at 288 different locations during the raids. The majority of the raids were carried out in Austria.
Europol says it is studying the results of the operation "to help identify key figures in international human trafficking networks in Europe, and to establish crime patterns as well as possible criminal organizational structures."