Four Pakistani men who smuggled into Italy migrants seeking to enter Europe via the Balkans route have been arrested, Italy's Carabinieri police said Saturday.
The suspects, whose operational base was in Milan, are accused of belonging to an international criminal organization dedicated to abetting illegal migration, a statement said.
The group would extract individual payments from migrants seeking to travel onwards from Hungary of about 1,000 euros (1,100 dollars).
The migrants, mostly from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, would then be hidden in trucks in groups of up to 36 and dumped on the Slovenian-Italian border.
According to the Carabinieri, the suspects raked in more than 500,000 euros per year from their business.
One of the suspects was apprehended in Budapest, and another in Maribor, Slovenia, using European arrest warrants, the Italian police said.
They added that police from Slovenia, Hungary and Germany helped their investigations.