KHARTOUM, March 4 (Xinhua) -- Sudanese authorities on Sunday freed 177 foreigners held by a human trafficking group in a neighborhood east of the Sudanese capital Khartoum, official SUNA news agency reported.
"A joint force of the central reserve police, emergency and operations administration, the criminal investigation and the police of the locality cracked down on the area and arrested the main defendant," Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Abdel-Rahim, Director of Khartoum State Police, was quoted as saying.
He added that the force has managed to free the foreigners, who had been hidden in six houses, and seized a vehicle the defendant used in his operations.
He noted that the victims have been hidden for more than 21 days at Alwan area in the eastern Nile neighborhood, east of Khartoum.
Sudan has witnessed an increase in organized activities in the human trafficking and illegal immigration fields.
Khartoum says it is maintaining high-level coordination with Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Egypt, Libya and Tunisia from Africa, and Europe's Italy, Spain, France and Britain to tackle the problem.
Sudan is considered as one of the cross-points for human trafficking and illegal immigration.
Earlier, European countries vowed support for Sudan in combating human trafficking after Khartoum asked for air and sea support to pursue multinational human smugglers.