Authorities arrested a Syrian man driving a van packed with illegal migrants in Slovenia this week, according to reports.
The incident unfolded on Tuesday on a motorway in Pomurje, a region in the northeast of the Alpine nation near the borders of Hungary and Austria.
Police stopped a suspicious vehicle with Austrian license plates and discovered 17 migrants hiding inside.
The driver was found to be a citizen of Syria illegally present in the country.
He was "detained for unlawful crossing of the border and will be taken before an investigating magistrate in Maribor," STA reports, citing the Maribor Police Department.
The migrants were identified as being mostly from Afghanistan and Pakistan.
They reportedly requested "international protection" and were transported to an asylum center.
The bust comes shortly after Ljubljana announced plans to begin dismantling a razor wire fence along the border with Croatia.
"After taking office following elections in April, Slovenia’s new, liberal government announced plans to remove the Croatia border wire that was erected after more than 1 million people entered Europe in 2015," the Associated Press reports.
Slovenian Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon touted the decision as a "humane act, so that people who come here will not have accidents and misfortunes.”
Meanwhile, the Balkan Peninsula, which leads directly into Slovenia from the south, is seeing a major surge in illegal migration.
Last month, Serbian authorities revealed more than 7,000 'refugees' were known to be in the country, up 55 percent from a year prior.
"The Western Balkan route saw 40,675 illegal crossings, or half of the total number recorded at EU’s borders," the Frontex reported in June.
"This is nearly three times the figure from the same period of last year. The main nationalities on this route included Syrians and Afghans. Most of the people detected had been in the Western Balkans already for some time before seeking to enter the EU."
In mid-2020, Europol predicted a flood of migration from third world countries heavily affected by global lockdowns and economic deceleration.
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(PHOTO: Stringer/AFP via Getty Images)