Smuggler gangs 'earn billions'

WASHINGTON (Reuter) - Asian gangs are earning dollars 3bn (pounds 2bn) annually smuggling an estimated 100,000 people a year into the United States.

The Washington Post quoted field agents of the Immigration and Naturalisation Service as saying that their Washington headquarters was not doing enough to stem the flow of immigrants from Hong Kong, Taiwan and China. Gangs were charging immigrants dollars 30,000 each to sneak them into the country, the newspaper said. Those who could not repay were sometimes tortured and killed.