Austrian authorities said they arrested 15 people suspected of smuggling Syrian, Lebanese and Egyptian migrants into the country, and seized 14 vehicles that were used to transport them, Associated Press reported, with reference to The Washington Post.
Police in Lower Austria province said they opened an investigation last month into the group that smuggled migrants from the Serbian-Hungarian border via Slovakia and the Czech Republic to Austria’s northeastern corner. They were dropped off north of Vienna.
The 15 suspected smugglers — citizens of Moldova, Ukraine and Uzbekistan — were arrested mostly in checks in mid-November on suspicious vehicles as well as at a Vienna hotel. All of them tried to flee when they were stopped.
They allegedly loaded 12 to 15 people into the cars and vans used for the journeys, with the back seats removed and the back windows sprayed over, IPN reports.