Austrian police have arrested a 35-year-old hitman-turned-human trafficker who is accused of killing nearly 70 people in Pakistan.
Dubbed the "Butcher of Pakistan", Atif Z is reportedly on his country's most wanted list.
Following a tip-off about a human-trafficking case near Boly in southern Hungary – Atif's area of operation, Austrian police made the arrest as a group of 42 illegal migrants were trying to enter Austria, RT news reported, citing Austrian media.
"Pakistan has issued an international arrest warrant for murder for (the man) who was then arrested," Bacs-Kiskun county police in southern Hungary, who made the arrest, said in a statement on Wednesday (25 October). They did not provide any other details about the case, Gulf News reported.
Investigators in Austria, meanwhile, confirmed that Atif was a hitman in Pakistan and was accused of "around 70 contract murders" in the country.
A statement by the Austrian Federal Criminal Bureau stated that the migrants detained along with Atif were caught at Boly, located 175km south of Budapest and near Hungary's borders with Croatia and Serbia. They were being smuggled into Austria, it added.
"This case once again shows the importance of international cooperation in combatting crime. I can only congratulate the Austrian investigators on this success," Austrian Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka said following the arrest.
Atif now faces deportation to Pakistan, but the process could see some delay because of an Austrian law that prevents returning criminals to countries where they could face the death penalty, RT reported. Considering the series of killings allegedly committed by Atif, he is likely to face capital punishment under Pakistani law.