Seven undocumented immigrants were apparently being held against their will, until ransom was paid, in a residential area of Houston.
Houston police were contacted late yesterday by one of the immigrants who was able to get his hands on a cell phone. He called the police and said he and others were being held hostage until their families paid an undisclosed ransom.
This is the second such incident in less than two months to occur in Houston. Last month on October 24, 18 people were rescued when they were being held by a human smuggling ring.
When police arrived at the 7200 block of Eppes Street in southeast Houston, seven unidentified individuals were rescued and four human smugglers arrested. However, when the police arrived several individuals fled the house that are currently being sought. All the undocumented immigrants were turned over to immigration officials.
Houston is a popular human trafficking hub because of its diverse population that allows immigrants and smugglers to blend in without drawing much attention. Human smuggling is the third most popular illicit activity in the world garnering $9.5 billion in revenue.