NICOSIA: European police arrested 15 members of an illegal EU migration ring in Cyprus on Wednesday that arranged marriages of convenience between men from Pakistan and India, and women from Portugal and Latvia, Europol said.
Two of the ringleaders were arrested in Latvia and Portugal and 13 suspects were arrested in Cyprus.
The criminal network “facilitated illegal migration into the EU via sham marriages”, it said.
The organisers “enabled the non-EU nationals to obtain residence permits from third countries, which they then used to travel to other European countries,” Europol added.
The ring allegedly recruited Latvian and Portuguese nationals and facilitated their journeys to Cyprus, where the women entered into arranged marriages with third-country nationals, Europol said.