According to the European police agency Europol, a total of 37 suspects linked to a Vietnamese human trafficking ring have been arrested after a police operation lasting almost a year.

A press release issued on December 6 stated that the smugglers use a sophisticated system whereby Vietnamese migrants are divided into groups of 6 to 12 individuals who are led by a smuggler who speaks English. The migrants are reportedly taken from Vietnam to South America and then on to European Union countries.

Each migrant paid 18,000 Euros (US$20,471) for the service, which could be paid off in three ways. One is full cash payment in advance, another is giving up land and property in Vietnam, and the third is by performing unpaid work in Europe.

The trafficking ring reportedly made over 13 million Euros ($14.78 million).

An 11-month-long investigation pinpointed the ring’s primary base of operations to be in Barcelona, Spain. Police carried out raids on 10 houses and over 100 beauty salons, with four vehicles and more than 60,000 Euros seized.