Seven foreign nationals (three Britons, two Americans, a Dutchman and a Cypriot) working for nongovernmental organizations that are providing assistance for migrants and refugees on the eastern Aegean island of Lesvos were arrested on Monday, the Athens-Macedonian New Agency has reported.
According to the AMNA, the seven suspects face charges of allegedly stealing 335 life vests from a facility belonging to the Municipality of Lesvos. They are reported to have told police they wanted the life vests in order to construct mattresses for refugees staying at the registration camp in Morias.
However, authorities believe that the suspects intended to stage photographs in which they are seen to be collecting the life vests from the island’s shores for a donation appeal. Police argue that if they wanted life vests for mattresses, they could have collected hundreds that are piled up on the coasts of Lesvos after being discarded by migrants and refugees arriving by boat from nearby Turkey.