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29 migrants found with people smuggler in Serbia

Published 27/06/2016

Hundreds of thousands of migrants have been arriving in Europe
Hundreds of thousands of migrants have been arriving in Europe

Police in Serbia have found 29 migrants and arrested a suspected people smuggler.

Officers discovered the migrants packed into two cars with false number plates in a southern village near the border town of Presevo. The migrants had no documentation.

The man caught with them faces charges of illegal crossing of the border and people smuggling.

The smuggling of migrants through the Balkans has been on the increase since the nations shut their borders in March, closing the traditional refugee route towards Western Europe.

More than one million people entered Europe last year and nations have been shutting down their borders to curb the influx.

Several arrived by sea, and efforts are continuing across the Mediterranean to rescue migrants from smugglers' boats, and also recover bodies from vessels which failed to make it.

The Italian navy said on Monday that it had brought six migrants' bodies to Sicily that were found near the wreck of a boat that sank on August 5, 2015.

When the vessel sank, an Irish naval vessel took on 373 survivors and 26 bodies that were immediately recovered.

Palermo-based prosecutors had asked the Italian navy to try to locate the sunken wreck and retrieve any more bodies.

In December, a navy minesweeper located the wreck on the seabed, 200ft down. The navy said inspections of the wreck and the surrounding area ascertained the presence of 10 bodies, but, for safety concerns, it was only possible to remove six.

AP

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