42 illegal migrants arrested off Lesvos

The coast guard arrested 42 illegal immigrants on a Turkish-flagged vessel off the island of Lesvos early yesterday, bringing to over 100 the number of people caught trying to enter Greece illegally over the past month. The 35 men and seven women on board the Deniz I, a 12.5-meter wooden craft, were detained in the island capital of Mytilene after being found off Mantamados, on the island’s northeastern coast. They told coast guard officials they had left the Turkish coast in the company of a Turkish speedboat which accompanied their vessel into international waters before turning back. The detainees’ nationalities were not made public. Lesvos is a favorite destination for migrant-smuggling gangs, which are mostly composed of Turks but often include Greeks. Athens has repeatedly criticized Ankara for not doing enough to stop the westward flow of immigrants.

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