THESSALONIKI, Greece (AP) — Police in northern Greece have foiled an illegal immigration racket that used a fake ambulance — driven by an ersatz doctor — to smuggle migrants from the Turkish border to the port city of Thessaloniki.
Police said Friday the ambulance was spotted on a highway 30 kilometers (19 miles) out of Thessaloniki when the driver reacted to the sight of a patrol car by switching on his siren and flashing lights and abruptly accelerating.
Pursuing police stopped the vehicle 25 kilometers further on. A second man in the cabin, also in a doctor's smock, was found to be a Bangladeshi immigrant, and another 12 Bangladeshi men were hidden in the back of the vehicle.
The Greek driver was charged with migrant smuggling and traffic violations. The arrests were made Thursday.