North Macedonia: Police Find 87 Illegal Immigrants, Arrest Two Men

North Macedonia: Police Find 87 Illegal Immigrants, Arrest Two Men
File photo of Macedonia police officers at a check point. (Robert Atanasovski/AFP via Getty Images)

SKOPJE, North Macedonia—Police in North Macedonia say they have discovered 87 illegal immigrants crammed into a truck with a trailer in the southern part of the country and arrested two men for migrant smuggling.

Police said the illegal immigrants, who included 45 Syrians, 39 Pakistanis, two Congolese, and one Indian—were found early Saturday during a routine check on a highway near the border town of Gevgelija.

Two Macedonian citizens, identified only by their initials as A.A. and M.J., were arrested. They face up to five years in prison if found guilty.

The migrants are believed to have entered illegally from Greece, heading for Serbia and onward to wealthier European countries. The illegal immigrants were transferred to a reception center in Gevgelija, pending deportation to Greece.

According to police, the migrant Balkan route through North Macedonia has become busier after the lifting of travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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