Greek police have arrested an elderly fisherman suspected of illegally ferrying back to Turkey Syrian refugees fed up with being stuck in the financially struggling country.
Police say the 70-year-old was caught Tuesday near the border town of Didymoteicho. He was allegedly trying to carry nine refugees across the Evros River, which forms the Greek-Turkish frontier, in his eight-meter (26-foot) boat.
Police said he charged 50 euros per passenger. The arrest was announced Wednesday.
About 57,000 refugees and other migrants have been trapped in Greece since Balkan border closures in March shut down the migrant route towards Europe’s prosperous heartland. Over a million migrants had taken that route over the previous year. All entered through Turkey, and didn't want to stay in Greece.
Several Syrians are now trying to return home.