Police in North Macedonia find 47 migrants in truck


Police in North Macedonia have reported the discovery of 47 migrants in an abandoned truck in the southwest region of the Balkan country, near the borders of Bulgaria and Greece.

According to reports on February 21, police found the parked truck with migrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq inside. The driver had already left when police arrived.

Authorities said the migrants entered the country from Greece and that they plan to deport them back there.

The discovery comes just more than a week after police said they found 53 migrants (37 were Afghans, 12 Pakistanis, 2 Indians, 1 Iraqi and 1 Egyptian) in a truck, also in the southeastern border region near Greece and Bulgaria.

Police arrested the driver, a 43-year-old citizen of North Macedonia, who is suspected of being part of a trafficking gang.

The migrants, who are believed to have entered the country illegally from Greece, were sent to detention centers in the capital, Skopje, and the border town of Gevgelija pending trial. They were also expected to be deported back to Greece.

Although the so-called Balkan Route from Greece to Western Europe has been closed since 2015, thousands of migrants still try to make their way up north by paying smugglers.

Officials in North Macedonia tried further to dramatically reduce the flow of migrants, many of them Afghan, in 2016, blaming the next country on the route, Serbia, for locking down their mutual border.

GCT Team

This article was researched and written by a GCT team member.