A 57-year-old driver of articulated vehicle has been arrested by the Greek Police for allegedly smuggling human beings after they found 19 migrants hidden in a tanker near the Greek border with Turkey.
The people from Syria, Iraq, Pakistan and Iran, seven of them minors, were in a life-threatening situation as they were being transported in the non-ventilated tank, police said on Friday.
The migrants apparently travelled on foot from Turkey and were picked up by the suspected smugglers who planned to take them to a port in western Greece, a police officer told dpa in Athens.
There are daily ferries Patras and Igoumenitsa to Brindisi, Bari, Ancona, Venice and Trieste in Italy.
Refugees and migrants have not been allowed to freely enter European countries since April 2016 but many hired smugglers often risk their lives at sea or on the road.
Meanwhile the trial of alleged smugglers blamed for the death of 71 migrants packed into a lorry in August 2015 is ongoing in Hungary.