World

The Latest: Greek police arrest 2 alleged refugee smugglers

The Latest on Europe's migrant crisis (all times local):

5:45 p.m.

Police in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki have arrested two people for allegedly belonging to a ring that sold falsified identity documents to refugees, enabling them to travel on to Germany.

A police statement says that the two suspects, a 30-year-old Algerian man and a 33-year-old Albanian woman, charged each refugee between 2,500 euros ($2,800) and 4,500 euros ($5,000) for their services.

Police also arrested three Syrian refugees who had allegedly bought documents from the suspects and were due to fly to Germany from Thessaloniki. The papers they would have travelled with were stolen Greek identity cards whose original photos had been changed.

About 62,000 refugees and other migrants are trapped in Greece. Most want to travel on to Europe's prosperous heartland.

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3:25 p.m.

Romanian border police say they have detained seven migrants from Ethiopia and Eritrea who are suspected of trying to illegally cross the border and head into the Schengen zone.

Police said in a statement they found six men and a woman in a field a few hundred yards (meters) from the border with Hungary early Thursday.

Hungary is a member of the visa-free Schengen zone. Romania is not.

The migrants told police they had hitched a ride to the border town of Nadlac and began walking.

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1:50 p.m.

Spain's defense ministry says a navy frigate has rescued 282 migrants from two boats found adrift in waters off the Libyan coast.

A ministry statement says the migrants rescued Wednesday included 18 Eritrean children under 10 years old. They were sailing in a small rubber boat and a larger wooden one.

The statement Thursday says the migrants were from African and Asian nations. They were transferred to a British vessel also taking part in the European Union's anti-smuggling mission in Libyan waters.

The ministry says the rescue brought to 3,035 the number of migrants picked up by the frigate in the past three months. It says three alleged traffickers were detained.