More than 5,600 third country nationals illegally arrive on handful of Greek isles in July; situation again worsens

Tuesday, 20 August 2019 14:42
UPD:14:47
REUTERS/HANNIBAL HANSCHKE
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More than 5,600 third country nationals illegally arrived on a handful of eastern Aegean islands in July, according to official figures released this week in Athens, exacerbating the already poor conditions at "hotspots".

The figure was the worst for 2019, as migrant smuggling networks operating from the opposite Turkish coast apparently took advantage of the peak summer season in the Aegean and more-or-less calm seas.

Greek officials recorded 208 arrivals of various craft successfully landing irregular migrants, with 19 foreign nationals later charged and arrested for trafficking. A total of 46 vessels were confiscated.

At the same time, 77 incidents were recorded of vessels trying to illegally smuggle third country nationals out of Greece, presumably to Italy, with a total of 358 arrested, along with 13 individuals charged with trafficking illegal migrants. Four vessels and four vehicles were confiscated, along with 109 forged travel documents.

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