Authorities said on Thursday that two Syrian men were arrested in Nea Kerdylia in Serres, northern Greece, on charges of smuggling 21 asylum seekers, including 10 minors.
Police said they are working on the assumption that the the two men, aged 20 and 17, are members of a wider people trafficking network.
According to reports, the two suspects were caught following a manhunt which began on Wednesday afternoon when they abandoned their van – with the 21 refugees on board – and made a run for it after failing to stop when hailed down by police.
An investigation showed that the refugees had illegally entered Greece over the Turkish border and were picked up in the Evros area early on Wednesday morning by the two traffickers who planned to drive them to Thessaloniki.
The 370-kilometer trip from Evros to Thessaloniki reportedly cost 2,000 euros per person.