70 illegal immigrants rescued off Kythera

Dozens of illegal immigrants were rescued from a battered fishing boat in high seas off the southern Peloponnese during a coast guard operation late on Monday. The Merchant Marine Ministry said 70 people were aboard the smuggling vessel, which was located in trouble in a near gale some 32 km (20 miles) southwest of the island of Kythera, off the southeastern tip of the Peloponnese. No mention was made of the illegal immigrants’ condition, nationality or provenance. The fishing boat was escorted yesterday to the protected anchorage of Diakofti, on the island’s eastern coast. The immigrants were given medical care at the local health center, the ministry said. Meanwhile, three Greek men – brothers Giorgos and Stelios Laskaris, and Eleftherios Yiannakoudakis – were arrested on Lesvos yesterday on suspicion of participation in a Greek-Turkish immigrant smuggling network.