144 Bangladeshis rescued from truck in North Macedonia

Authorities in North Macedonia found 144 Bangladeshis in a truck near the country's southern border with Greece, during a routine check on a regional road, police said Tuesday.

A border patrol stopped the truck around midnight Monday near the town of Gevgelija, and found the 211 migrants of whom 67 are from Pakistan and 63 are minors, police said.

The truck driver, a 27-year-old Macedonian national identified by police only by his initials EP, was arrested.

The migrants were detained and transferred to a shelter transit center in Gevgelija pending deportation back to Greece.

The Greek border with North Macedonia was closed earlier this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, but trafficking networks remain active in the area, ferrying migrants who make their way from Turkey into Greece and then head north toward more prosperous countries in the European Union's center and north.