Police in North Macedonia say they have discovered eight migrants crammed into a hidden compartment in the roof of a truck, during a routine search at the border crossing with Serbia.
The Iraqi men were found before midnight Sunday in a truck with Bulgarian license plates.
Police said Monday the driver was detained and the migrants were transferred to a shelter in the southern town of Gevgelija and would be deported to Greece. Authorities say the eight illegally entered North Macedonia from Greece and were aiming to head through Serbia on to other European countries.
Although what became known as the Balkan route from Greece to other European countries has been shut since 2015, many migrants still attempt to cross through the Balkans using smugglers.
Italy's hard-line interior minister is reacting with anger after migrants rescued by a humanitarian ship landed on Italy's southern island of Lampedusa despite his explicit ban.
Matteo Salvini on Monday threatened charges against anyone who acted illegally to bring the 47 migrants to land. He said on Facebook if "there was a ploy to disembark the migrants, I will take action because that is aiding and abetting human trafficking."
The German aid group Sea-Watch said the remaining migrants on board their rescue ship were transferred to Lampedusa on Sunday evening with the cooperation of the Coast Guard and financial police. They were among 65 migrants rescued off the coast of Libya last week.
Sea-Watch said its vessel was too big to enter Lampedusa and had been ordered to another port on "probationary confiscation."
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