News Article

Mexican migration officials arrested, charged with human smuggling

By Associated Press, AzStarnet.com

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MEXICO CITY The Mexican Attorney General's office announced Thursday the arrest of two immigration officials suspected of using their positions to lead an illegal human trafficking ring.

Along with the suspects, police on Monday seized five luxury vehicles, seven firearms four of which are illegal migration documents, U.S. visas, passports and other illegal documents, authorities said in a news release. The goods have an estimated value of $850,000 .

The two suspects, identified as Oscar Manuel Navarrete Orozco and Maria America Maldonado, worked for the National Immigration Institute in the state of Guanajuato, 200 miles northeast of Mexico City. They face charges of organized crime, trafficking of undocumented persons and running operations with illegally obtained resources.

Illegal migration is one of Mexico's most serious problems. Statistics from the immigration institute indicate that more than 182,000 undocumented migrants were detained in Mexico in 2006. The vast majority were Central Americans from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador en route to the United States.

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