Algerian authorities have arrested eight people accused of smuggling cars stolen from Europe, following a 16-month investigation, a local daily reported on Sunday. The Liberte newspaper, quoting Algerian security officials, said 40 vehicles, including Mercedes SUVs, BMWs, VW Golfs and Audis, were confiscated in several Algerian wilayas, or prefectures. Also seized in the operation that was assisted by Interpol were 238 fake drivers\' licenses. The eight suspected smugglers were detained in Metlili, 640 kilometres (398 miles) from Algiers, awaiting trial, Liberte said. One car-smuggling baron from the region is already serving a 12-year prison sentence. The smugglers are suspected of stealing the vehicles from France and Switzerland and moving them across the Algeria-Tunisia border.