Authorities concerned over 2,500 missing Pakistani migrants


Authorities dealing with the immigration problem are concerned as an estimated 2,500 Pakistani migrants have disappeared from reception centers from Aegean islands, apparently fleeing due to fears that they will be deported.

Most of the migrants are believed to have made asylum applications to win some time in Greece but as they economic migrants rather than refugees they are unlikely to qualify and so are believed to have fled to avoid detention and deportation.

The so-called hotspots on five eastern Aegean islands — Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Kos and Leros — are accommodating thousands of Syrians and other refugees but also a large number of economic migrants from Pakistan, Africa and the Middle East.

Sources at the Citizens' Protection Ministry told Kathimerini that they are waiting for the Greek Asylum Service to issue a call for migrants who have applied for asylum but have not turned up to asylum interviews. Those who do not return should be returned to Turkey, the sources said.

In recent comments, Migration Minister Yiannis Mouzalas said that the composition of the migrant influx had changed with fewer refugees coming and more economic migrants.