NEWS

Spaniards held in Greece for refugee smuggling attempt

TAGS: Migration, Crime

Two Spanish activists were detained Wednesday in Greece after trying to smuggle eight refugees, including a Pakistani transsexual woman, out of the country, the coastguard and a fellow activist said.

Mikel Zuloaga and Begona Huarte, of the Ongi etorri Errefuxiatuak (Refugees Welcome) platform, were stopped at Igoumenitsa harbor in northwestern Greece as they were about to board a ferry to Italy.

Faced with what they say is government inaction on migrants and refugees, they tried to bring the eight youngsters back to Spain, said Andoni Louzao, another member of the pressure group.

“They were driving a camper van with eight people from Pakistan, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran hidden inside,” a Greek coastguard source told AFP. “They are currently held at the Igoumenitsa coastguard office and will appear before a prosecutor on Friday.”

Greece says it has over 60,000 mainly Syrian refugees and migrants trapped on its soil, after Balkan and EU countries further north shut their borders last year.

Spain has been criticized for the low number of refugees it has taken in, though on Wednesday close to 200 arrived from Greece, the interior ministry said, taking the total number to 898, according to official figures.

[AFP]

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