Authorities in Niger have arrested a 29-year-old Libyan national suspected of leading a ring smuggling African migrants from Niger to Europe, a source from the French police has confirmed.

Agence France Presse quoted the police official as saying that a joint investigation by Nigerien, French and Spanish police led to the arrest of the Libyan national.

The suspect, caught in Agadez, northern Niger, on December 20, admitted during interrogation that for the past seven years, he has been sending as many as 60 migrants a week.

The migrants, mainly from Nigeria and Cameroon, were being transported through Niger in pickup trucks that avoided large cities and into Libya and Algeria before being smuggled to Europe.

The French official explained that a recent arrest of another suspect in Niamey uncovered more information that may lead to further arrests in the coming weeks.