Six European Union countries jointly launched a plan to tackle migrant smuggling, leading to the arrest of over 16 persons, European Police Office (Europol) said in a statement Thursday.
The action took place on Wednesday by police in Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Hungary and Romania, with the support of Europol.
Three premises were searched in Hungary, including a hotel used as a major safe house for irregular migrants. In Romania, police arrested 13 suspects. Austrian police arrested one person.
Europol said that after the closure of the Western Balkan route last year, there was an increased risk of stranded migrants being hidden in the region until they are relocated by organized crime groups.