BERLIN (AP) – German federal police arrested 23 migrants along the German-Polish border on Sunday morning and detained two suspected traffickers, reports the German news agency dpa.
There were several children among the people found in the van during the routine search, police said. All the migrants were from Iraq, while the two suspected Syrian traffickers. The car was stopped near the East German border town of Goerlitz.
The driver of the car and his companion initially fled during the police control, but were later detained and the van seized, reports dpa.
Last week, police found they had found an Iraqi dead in a small truck near the Polish border when alleged human smuggling went wrong.
Police found the body after police spotted about 30 people getting out of the truck, also near Goerlitz. The 42-year-old driver of the vehicle is wanted.
German authorities have seen an increase in the number of people entering Poland illegally in recent weeks. On some days, police picked up hundreds of people a day.
Many of those picked up by police are Iraqis and Syrians who flew to Belarus and then crossed Poland before traveling west to Germany in hopes of seeking asylum there.
In October alone, nearly 5,000 people were stopped while crossing the border between Poland and Germany, the dpa reported.