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Mexico shatters crime ring that preyed on Asian migrants

   MEXICO CITY -- Authorities said Saturday that they broke up a trafficking ring that brought foreigners, mostly Asians, into Mexico intent on smuggling them into the United States.

   Prosecutors said they detained seven Mexicans and three Bangladeshis accused of moving the migrants to Mexico's northern border with the United States at a huge cost and in grim conditions.

   The migrants came from places like India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan, as well as Iran and Somalia, officials said.

   The ring was based in Mexico City and the Caribbean coastal state of Quintana Roo, prosecutors said.

   In a raid police found 13 people -- two from India, five from Bangladesh and six from Nepal -- held in unhealthy conditions waiting to be moved by traffickers.

   It was not immediately known how many people were trafficked over what time period.

   At least 140,000 people enter Mexico every year trying to reach the United States, according to official estimates.

   Most of the foreigners are Central Americans, but the number of Asians has been on the rise, officials say. (AFP-Yonhap)