Italian authorities have arrested two Pakistani nationals as they were allegedly attempting to take undocumented migrants to France.
Two Pakistani nationals living in Italy, a 23-year-old living in Reggio Emilia and a 28-year-old from Modena, were arrested as they were driving six undocumented migrants across Italy's border with France.
Police stopped them at the border crossing in Ventimiglia and arrested them. Security officials reportedly became suspicious due to the high speed of the car and its low alignment which appeared to indicate it was transporting a lot of weight.
Police ordered the car to stop and the 23-year-old driver complied after initially attempting to flee. The young man had a permanent residence permit and an Italian driving license while the 28-year-old sitting next to him was the Fiat car's owner, officials said. Six foreigners believed to be Pakistani nationals aged 21 to 27 were cramped in the back seat.
Ventimiglia bishop calls for integration
Meanwhile, the bishop of Ventimiglia and Sanremo, Antonio Suetta, spoke about the humanitarian emergency at the Italian-French border of Ventimiglia, and called for more support for potential migrants in their home country. "Integration is fine but migrants must also be helped at home," he said. The bishop quoted Pope emeritus Benedict XVI as saying that "before the right to emigrate there is the right not to emigrate, in other words the international community needs to remove the causes that forced desperate people to leave."
The bishop said those fleeing war, "which is a situation of injustice" are in a different place compared to those who choose to leave their country as "a willful act." He concluded: "Serious work by the international community is necessary so that war, exploitation, social injustice and poverty can be overcome."