North Macedonia police find 45 migrants packed in van

North Macedonia police find 45 Pakistani migrants packed in van

SKOPJE, North Macedonia -- Police in North Macedonia say a patrol has found 45 migrants on a main highway near the central town of Veles and arrested a van driver.

The 45 Pakistani migrants were discovered packed in the van early Sunday. Police say the 28-year-old driver, a Macedonian national, was arrested.

The migrants are believed to have entered North Macedonia illegally from Greece and are expected to be deported back.

Although officially closed since 2016, the so-called Balkan route remains active for the illegal transfer of migrants to wealthier European countries.

The number of migrants caught entering North Macedonia illegally has increased 20% this year.