Tuesday May 5, 2015 Search
Weather | Athens
14o C
09o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Illegal migrants eye charter flights

Faced with tighter police controls at Greece’s western ports of Patras and Igoumenitsa, human traffickers are increasingly using smaller airports across the country to smuggle illegal migrants into Western Europe, Kathimerini understands.

Hundreds of unregistered migrants have been collared at airports on Santorini, Myconos, Samos and Mytilene in recent months while trying to travel to major cities in Western Europe using fake documents, according to police.

Suspects usually prefer direct charter flights that do not involve stopovers at the bigger, more secure airports across the European Union.

Some 331 clandestine migrants were arrested between May 1 and July 23, according to police.

“They enter the country illegally through Evros and then, via Piraeus, they travel to regional airports aiming to get aboard a summer charter flight to Western Europe,” a police official who asked not to be identified told Kathimerini.

He said that most would-be passengers buy fake travel documents in Athens’s central Omonia district. The price of being transported to an airport can reach up to 3,000 euros, the officer said, adding that suspects are equipped with airport maps that help them keep clear of security checks.

Human smugglers also use the main airports at Athens and Thessaloniki. In the first half of 2012, some 589 people tried to board flights to one of the passport-free Schengen zone countries, according to police. A total of 436 were arrested at Athens International Airport and 153 in Thessaloniki. Most of those came from Afganistan, Iraq and Syria.

Police also apprehended 86 human traffickers over the same period.

Meanwhile, late on Friday, officials of the hard-left SYRIZA party slammed the ongoing police operation aimed at rounding up illegal immigrants in Athens dubbed Xenios Zeus.

“Incriminating poverty, launching war against poor foreigners, and racism are no guarantee for the security of the increasingly poor Greeks,” 12 SYRIZA MPs said in a statement.

ekathimerini.com , Saturday August 11, 2012 (15:41)  
Remains of 4-year-old unlikely to be found, says police chief
Tsipras, Merkel discussed state of negotiations, says official
Most Greeks want euro even with new bailout deal
Dozens of migrants rescued at sea
Greece seeks breathing room from ECB chief Draghi
Greek Deputy Prime Minister Yannis Dragasakis meets European Central Bank President Mario Draghi on Tuesday, as his government seeks financial breathing room to prevent a default and stay in...
IMF not insisting on further debt relief for Greece, says Schaeuble
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Tuesday that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had warned recently that Greek's financial situation was worsening but denied that it wa...
Inside Business
TRACK & FIELD
Over 18,000 runners participate in the Athens Half Marathon
The 4th Athens Half Marathon was an unqualified organizing and sporting success on Sunday, as thousands of runners joined in the race of the 21-kilometers and the 3k and 5k runs in the capit...
SOCCER
Six teams to fight to avoid the last relegation spot
Panthrakikos was the biggest winner of the penultimate round of Super League games on Sunday through its victory at Veria, on the day that Olympiakos partied for its fifth consecutive title....
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
Empty admissions of fault
News that the International Monetary Fund’s managing director, Christine Lagarde, has ordered a probe into who bears responsibility for the failure of the Greek program during the 2010-12 pe...
EDITORIAL
No more division
Greece will experience some serious turbulence in the days and weeks ahead as it faces several key dates that will determine its fate. It is extremely unlikely that the country will survive ...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Greece seeks breathing room from ECB chief Draghi
2. IMF not insisting on further debt relief for Greece, says Schaeuble
3. Remains of 4-year-old unlikely to be found, says police chief
4. Tsipras, Merkel discussed state of negotiations, says official
5. Greece willing to move ahead on key asset sales to appease lenders, says source
6. Outlook for Greece casts cloud over Europe´s ´brightest spring in several years´
more news
Today
This Week
1. Empty admissions of fault
2. Dozens of migrants rescued at sea
3. OTE vies for control of Albtelecom
4. Greeks bet 5.9 billion euros on games of chance last year
5. No more division
6. Most Greeks want euro even with new bailout deal
Today
This Week
1. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
2. Greece’s day of reckoning inches closer as debt payments loom
3. Greek decision to exit euro would be disastrous for Greece
4. Greece’s decade-long relationship with Merkel
5. Varoufakis attacked by anarchists while dining in Athens
6. No need to widen the rift
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2015, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.