The Greek coast guard stopped a sailboat with 41 migrants on Sunday, June 9 2019 | Photo: Picture-alliance/AA/A.Balli
The Greek coast guard stopped a sailboat with 41 migrants on Sunday, June 9 2019 | Photo: Picture-alliance/AA/A.Balli

The Greek coast guard arrested five people for alleged migrant smuggling on Sunday. The ring that transported migrants from Greece to Italy had been active for months, the coast guard said.

Three Greek and two foreign nationals were caught Sunday in the attempt to smuggle 41 migrants on a sailboat from the Greek island of Lefkada to Italy, the coast guard said. All five were arrested.

Police confiscated the sailboat as well as a mini-van and a vehicle believed to have served as transportation to bring migrants from other regions of Greece to the western coast.

According to internal coast guard sources, the alleged smugglers had been active for months.

From Turkey via Greece to western Europe

Most of the migrants making use of organized smuggling networks enter Greece from Turkey clandestinely and are hence not registered in Greece. 

In case of a successful crossover into Italy or other European countries, they cannot be sent back to Greece because they have not been registered with the central European fingerprint database Eurodac, a coast guard officer told the German press agency dpa.

 

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