Serbian police said on Monday they had arrested two people on suspicion of smuggling Cubans to Spain.
Belgrade, Serbia — Serbian police said on Monday they had arrested two people suspected of helping to smuggle Cubans to Spain as part of an international criminal group.
Two Serbian nationals have been arrested in a months-long investigation with the cooperation of Spain, Interpol and Europol, police said in a statement. They said 18 more suspects were arrested in Spain.
The statement said the suspects in Serbia were accused of organizing the illegal transfer of at least 53 people to neighboring countries – North Macedonia or Bosnia – and to Spain.
Serbia, a southeastern European country located on the Balkan peninsula, is the hub of an important overland route for migrants trying to reach the European Union.
In April, the country revoked its visa-free travel agreement with Cuba following reports of Cubans moving to Spain and other EU countries after first arriving in Serbia as tourists.
Serbia also imposed visas earlier this year on citizens of Burundi, Tunisia and India for the same reason and under pressure from the EU, which is seeking to restrict migration into the 27-nation bloc.