Posted January. 25, 2005 22:59,
Fifteen Koreans and one broker trying to smuggle into the U.S. through New York were arrested by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and await identity interrogation at the federal court of Albuquerque, New Mexico, according to the local press.
All were Korean males between the ages of 23 and 35 and were arrested during an inspection at the Albuquerque station on January 20 while heading to New York by train. The Drug Enforcement Administration agents thought it suspicious that a group of foreigners were traveling by express train and asked the ICE to investigate.
It seems that some of them did not possess the appropriate visas. Some have testified that they were smuggling into the nation illegally.
The local press reports that according to investigations, this illegal entry into the U.S. was led by a Korean travel agency.
The Consulate General of the Republic of Korea located in Los Angeles stated that it has not been confirmed if those arrested are North Korean defectors, and that it was gathering more information on the issue.