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30 illegal Punjabis caught in France

Chamonix (France), November 3
Thirty illegal Indian immigrants travelling in "inhuman conditions" were stopped while crossing the French Alps in a small truck,the police said.

"They were packed together, standing up, in inhuman conditions in an area of less than six square metres. It was horrible," Michel Drezen, head of the border police in France's Haute-Savoie region, said yesterday.

"The officials who found them were deeply shocked." The illegal immigrants -- aged between 16 and 30 -- were discovered on Wednesday near Mont Blanc during a routine check, he said, adding: "They were in good health despite everything." The would-be immigrants were mostly from the northern Indian state of Punjab. Seven of them were aged under 17.

Each of them paid about $ 14,500 to be transported to Belgium from Rome, where they landed with fake visas. AFP

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