The twenty Pakistani stowaways were at the back of the truck, coming from Italy – Charly Triballeau AFP

A vehicle registered in Italy carrying 20 Pakistani illegal immigrants was checked Friday in the Drome and its driver, an Italian suspected of being their smuggler, was placed in custody, according to the prosecutor's office of Valencia.

The front passenger of this van, of Indian nationality, has also been placed in custody for "help in the entry and stay irregular in the national territory," said the prosecutor, Alex Perrin.

Four miners on board, the driver in custody

Twenty persons of Pakistani origin without a residence permit, including four minors, were transported to the rear of the vehicle, with no window and lock. The gendarmes of the departmental highway squad checked him Friday morning while he was stopped on the A7 emergency stop strip in Montboucher-sur-Jabron, apparently broken down.

"The first elements of the investigation suggest that the driver and his passenger would be smugglers. They were remanded in custody. The other persons were placed in administrative detention and are subject to a procedure of obligation to leave the territory by the prefecture, "said the prosecutor.

Traveling in a north-south direction, the vehicle entered the motorway from Vienna, Italy, according to the same source.


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