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Italian police arrested seven Egyptians and Tunisians for allegedly forming a human smuggling group in Bari, a city in southern Italy.
Bari prosecutors issued arrest warrants for the citizens. Police investigations began in October 2011, Italian police sources said.
The sources said the group was based in Egypt with branches in several Italian regions, aiming to facilitate illegal migration.
Police identified 490 undocumented migrants, the sources said, adding that authorities arrested 43 people allegedly responsible for the migration, and seized seven sailing boats used to smuggle them to Italy.
The smuggling group made no less than 2.5 million euros through its activities, the sources said.
Edited translation from MENA