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Germany

Germans Bust Sex Smuggling Ring

German police said Friday they smashed a major international human trafficking ring allegedly dealing in drugs, prostitution, extortion and money laundering.Wrapping up a nearly five-year probe, investigators captured 21 suspects believed to be involved in a network smuggling women coerced into the sex trade into Germany and managing an underworld empire. In raids in five cities, police seized €43,000 ($56,000) in cash and froze €430,000 in various bank accounts. More than 340 officers searched 51 homes and offices, following up leads collected since 2000. Tougher human trafficking laws go into force Saturday in Germany to bring the country in line with new United Nations and European Union guidelines, introducing tougher penalties and aid for victims to seek justice. AFP (dre)