Greece: Somali migrants crammed into fake tour bus

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By AP

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Updated: Tue, 08 Oct 2013 04:17:06 EST

THESSALONIKI, Greece (AP) — Police in northern Greece say 19 Somali migrants have been found hidden under the roof of a fake tour bus headed to Italy, and 23 Greeks alleged to be posing as tourists were arrested. The 12 women and seven men were found crammed in the 35 centimeter- (13.7 inch-) high compartment after police stopped and searched the bus Tuesday outside Thessaloniki city. Giorgos Pantelakos, head of Thessaloniki police's human trafficking division, said the Somalis each paid 3,000 euros ($4,100) for the trip, while the seated passengers each received 100 euros ($135) to act as vacationers. Five suspected human smugglers from Greece and Georgia were arrested separately. Authorities are determining if the Somalis should be deported. Greece is a major entry point for migrants trying to reach the European Union illegally.

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