Niger authorities arrest 30 trafficking suspects

Updated at: 11/19/2013 5:35 AM

(AP) NIAMEY, Niger - The spokesman for Niger’s government says authorities in the West African country have arrested about 30 people in connection with human trafficking networks.

Justice Minister Marou Amadou told The Associated Press on Monday that among the suspects are two drivers of the vehicles that broke down in a remote area last month.

Authorities say 92 people subsequently died of dehydration, most of them women and children.

Amadou said the suspects included police officers as well as others who had taken money to help migrants travel to Europe.

The area just south of the vast Sahara Desert has been used by smugglers for decades.

Tens of thousands of West African migrants attempting to reach Europe in recent years have taken this perilous overland voyage, after authorities cracked down on sea routes.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)