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Austrian police arrest 3 for smuggling people into US

VIENNA (AP) — Austrian police have detained three suspects for allegedly smuggling people onto flights bound for the United States or Britain.

State Prosecutor Friedrich Koehl says investigations focus on at least 11 cases between last fall and February.

The suspects worked for a private security company hired by Austrian Airlines and were in charge of controlling passports and tickets.

Koehl said Tuesday that their acquaintances would purchase tickets, go to the departure gate and then give their boarding passes to those being smuggled.

He says investigations began after a person traveling illegally was returned to Austria from the U.S., and someone asked by the smugglers to cooperate in the scheme by buying a ticket went to the police.

The suspects were not identified in keeping with Austrian confidentiality laws.

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