Police in Germany found more than 100 Syrian citizens inside apartments and other buildings that were searched Tuesday in connection with the suspected smuggling of migrants, German news agency dpa reported.
More than 350 German federal police officers searched locations as part of an investigation. The Syrians allegedly were brought into Germany without holding legal residency documents, dpa said.
Police executed five arrest warrants, three in the northern town of Stade and two in the western town of Gladbeck. All five arrested people were Syrian asylum-seekers already living in Germany, the news agency said.
The Syrian migrants had to pay them 3,000 to 7,000 euros ($3,170- 7,400) to be smuggled into Germany. The suspects then bought gold with the money, dpa said.
The raids were ordered by federal police at Frankfurt airport on suspicion of gang and commercial smuggling of foreigners, the news agency reported.
The focus of the raids was on cities and towns in northern and western Germany but also in Bavaria in the south, dpa said.