Italian authorities arrested and charged a man and woman with facilitating illegal immigration in Italy. The couple allegedly charged thousands of euros to drive illegal migrants to Italy.
Police with Italy's highway patrol arrested a man and woman on the country's A1 motorway in Arezzo, central Italy, and charged them with facilitating illegal immigration. The couple, both from the southern city of Salerno, allegedly charged migrants 1,000 euros each to bring them to Rome.
Authorities have opened an investigation into the two "taxi drivers" for illegal migrants, to determine how they got the migrants to arrive illegally, in particular from Asia. In this specific case, the highway patrol stopped the couple on August 22 in Badia al Pino in the province of Arezzo. They were driving an Audi with a Romanian license plate and two passengers in the back seat. The passengers were Sri Lankan citizens without any entry visa into Italy or any other Schengen-area country.
Thousands of euros to arrive in Italy
An initial investigation revealed that the two Sri Lankan citizens were entrusted to a fellow Sri Lankan who helped them to arrive in an Eastern European country for 5,000 euros each. From there they were accompanied to Slovenia, where they were handed over to the Italian couple, to whom they paid 1,000 euros each for the trip to Rome.
After arresting the couple, police seized the vehicle and the cash, which the woman was holding.
Two unregistered migrants expelled from Arezzo, four reported
Meanwhile in Arezzo, also on August 22 police found a group of migrants without papers. Two were expelled, one of whom was accompanied to the border and four were reported. The operation was carried out as part of checks for drugs and property crimes that police had been conducting over the summer. The migrants' irregular status emerged during the checks.
The four migrants who were reported were a 33-year-old from Morocco, a 45-year-old and a 29-year old from Tunisia and a 42-year-old from Albania. In the same operation, a 41-year-old Albanian was issued with an expulsion order and accompanied to the border for subsequent repatriation.