North Macedonia: 61 migrants held following police raids

Police in North Macedonia say they have detained 61 migrants and arrested five suspected traffickers following raids near the border with Serbia and highway checks

SKOPJE, North Macedonia -- Police in North Macedonia say they have detained 61 migrants and arrested five suspected traffickers following highway checks and raids on Sunday and Monday.

The five smuggling suspects, all men, are North Macedonian nationals, police said.

The migrants are believed to have entered North Macedonia illegally from Greece and were due to be deported back to the neighboring country. If convicted, the suspected migrant traffickers face up to five years in prison.

Greece's border with North Macedonia was closed earlier this year due to the coronavirus pandemic but trafficking networks in the area remain active.