Baffled police arrested a driver in Germany after they stopped his car on an autobahn and found eight illegal migrants crammed into the back seat.
The Kurdish migrants told police they were fleeing Turkey after paying people smugglers to get through to western Europe.
The German-Turkish driver claimed to be a relative of the refugees.
Confusingly, he had left his front passenger seat free because he thought it would make police less likely to stop him.
Munich police said that they had stopped the “completely overcrowded” car on the B2 motorway near Oberau on 24th October.
In a statement obtained by Newsflash on Tuesday, 25th October, they said: “Eight people, including three children, were crammed onto the back seat, which was designed for only three passengers.
“The migrants indicated that they were originally from Turkey and could not identify themselves. Immediately after the check, the federal police began investigating the smuggling of foreigners.”
Police said: “The driver of the vehicle gave the Murnau officials his identity card. The Turkish-born German explained that he knew his passengers or was related to them.
“He had deliberately let all of his eight companions get in the back and deliberately left the seat next to him empty during the journey.
“A vacant passenger seat seemed less conspicuous to him. After all, he wanted to avoid a police check at all costs.
“The professional driver has apparently accepted the fact that a journey with eight people squeezed together in the back seat and unsecured is extremely dangerous.”
The driver – who has not been named but who is reportedly 48 years old – was arrested and taken to a police station in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
His car was reportedly confiscated by police as a possible crime scene.
Police said: “There, the adult migrants, aged between 31 and 40, explained that they and their children, aged one, three and seven, had fled Turkey because of their Kurdish origins.
“To do this, they entrusted themselves to smugglers who asked for thousands of euros for their services. One of the stopovers would have been in Italy.
“The pick-up by their relative was the last stage of a week-long journey.
“After completion of the police measures, the Turkish nationals were directed to a reception centre for refugees. Their driver, who was registered in Hesse, was able to go on his way after receiving a criminal complaint.”
The police investigation is ongoing.