THESSALONIKI, Greece – Police in northern Greece have rescued 54 migrants found squashed into a van, and arrested two Bulgarian alleged members of a smuggling ring paid to carry them through the country.
A police statement says the van was stopped Wednesday on a road in the northeastern Rodopi province.
It said the 52 Syrian and 2 Somali nationals — including 13 minors — were crammed into the 4-by-2.5-meter (13-by-8-foot) back of the van, which lacked ventilation and was locked from the outside.
The two Bulgarians, aged 36 and 38, were charged with illegally transporting migrants and endangering lives.
Police said Thursday that each of the adults had paid 1,500 euros ($1,700) to be taken from Greece's land border with Turkey, which they had crossed illegally, to the northern city of Thessaloniki.