Migrants saved off Crete, nine smugglers caught

Migrants saved off Crete, nine smugglers caught

Nine men suspected of migrant smuggling have been arrested in two separate incidents this week, authorities said Thursday.

Five Egyptian nationals are being questioned on Crete after a boat carrying 240 migrants and asylum seekers from their home country and Syria started taking on water off the coast of Palaiohora on Crete.

The passengers, mostly minors, were rescued by the BBC Quebec cargo ship and transported to safety in the town of Hania, where they are receiving medical treatment and being processed. In another incident, off the coast of Tilos in the southeast Aegean, coast guard officers intercepted a vessel bearing a German flag and carrying 68 passengers.

Under questioning, it was discovered that 64 were Syrians and the other four were Russian and Ukrainian, leading to their arrest for suspected migrant smuggling.

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