The Latest: Greece arrests 5 aiming to smuggle in 87 Syrians

The Latest on Europe's migration issues. (all times local):

11:10 p.m.

Greek police say they have arrested five individuals ready to smuggle 87 Syrian migrants, including 46 children, through the border with Albania.

The five — one Greek, one Iraqi and three Syrians — were arrested in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki as they were ready to board the 87 onto a bus with Bulgarian license plates.

Each adult migrant had to pay $5,000 in stages until they reached central Europe, the migrants told police. Police say the migrants' final destination, as well as the exact travel arrangements, were not yet known.

Migrant trafficking has increased since Balkan countries closed their borders to migrants last March. This is the first known case of using Albania instead of the usual route through Macedonia.


5:20 p.m.

Macedonian police say they have discovered 73 illegal migrants in a truck during a routine check early Saturday near Macedonia's border with Serbia.

The migrants are from Syria, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan. Most of them are women with children, police said.

The 35-year-old truck driver, a Macedonian, has been detained. He had charged the migrants an undisclosed amount for the expected transfer across the border.

Macedonia, a tiny Balkan country wedged between Greece to the south and Serbia to the north, lies on a main travel route for migrants who want to reach wealthier European countries.

People smuggling has been on the rise since Balkan countries closed their borders to migrants in March.