A woman carries her crying baby in a park in Thessaloniki. (AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos)
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With Turkey in crisis and Europe's borders closed, smugglers in northern Greece are expecting a profitable summer.The 22-year-old psychology student traveled from Afghanistan with his mother who is in poor health – and is an ideal target for smuggling rings that are re-emerging in the region. He agreed to pay traffickers 2,500 euros ($2,750) to travel from Greece's northern border with Macedonia to Sweden, but only made it a few miles before being spotted by police and turned back.Police said the smugglers brought some 600 migrants into Greece from Turkey over several months and helped them reach other countries, using a fleet of taxis, scout vehicles, prepaid "burner" cellphones and a system of code words that included: "dogs" for police, "garbage trucks" for police cars, and "cement blocks," "fish" or "kebabs" when referring to the migrants themselves.Five police officers have also been arrested in Macedonia, accused of helping smugglers north of the Greek border.In Greece alone, more than 57,000 migrants are stranded, most staying at about 60 government-run camps around the country.Since the refugee camp was cleared, between 50 and 100 migrants a day are spotted trying to cross the border and being turned back, according to police estimates.
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