Austrian police say they have uncovered an international people-smuggling ring. Seventeen suspects were arrested, mostly from Chechnya in the south of Russia. Others were from Germany, Hungary and Austria. Officials revealed that most of the drivers were from Poland.

"Members (of the organisation) were almost exclusively people from the Russian region of Chechnya based in Austria," a police statement said.

The alleged leader, a Syrian whose base is in Budapest, was among those in police detention.

The migrants were en route to Germany and France as well as other European countries. Over 1 million migrants arrived in Germany during 2015, one of the main transit countries for many refugees including Syrians travelling from Greece and into western Europe.

"This remains a very lucrative business," Gerald Tatzgern, Austria's senior official in charge of efforts to tackle human smuggling.

Traffickers are said to charge 300 euros ($330) per person for transport from Hungary to Vienna and 700-800 euros to get to Germany, and paying drivers 700 euros per journey.

Since Hungary has closed its border with Serbia, migrants in their desperation are turning to smugglers, according to The Local.

Extreme right-wing groups in Austria demand a harder line on immigration. Due to irregularities in ballot counting, there will be a rerun of a the presidential election, the first since 1945, when the Nazis were defeated. Norbert Hofer has a second chance of becoming the first far-right politician elected head of state in Europe since World War II.

However, Austria is keen to avoid terrible tragedies such as the incident in August 2015, where 71 migrants were found dead in the back of an abandoned truck on a roadside. The victims' bodies were decomposing Austria's Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner told a news conference it was a "dark day" and that their thoughts were with the victims and their families.