More arrests in connection with 2012 migrant deaths on smugglers’ bus

A 62-year-old man arrested in Thessaloniki on Sunday along with another two suspects is believed to be the leader of a ring of human traffickers who are responsible for the death in June 2012 of two migrants in a hidden compartment on a tour bus found in Italy that had sailed from Greece.

Working with information from the Italian police and Europol, local authorities on Sunday made three arrests and opened files on another 30 suspects believed to be part of a large operation smuggling undocumented migrants into Italy from Greece.

The Italian police’s information came from two members of the organization – aged 40 and 44 – who were arrested last year when two of 17 migrants they were carrying in a hidden compartment on a tour bus into Italy from Greece died en route of asphyxiation.

According to the Greek police, the organization, which is believed to have been led by the 62-year-old suspect arrested in Thessaloniki on Sunday, used a modified tour bus to smuggle migrants into Italy under the guise of a tourist excursion.

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