Border forces detain 31 illegal immigrants

A group of 20 illegal immigrants was found on Saturday on a tiny eastern Aegean islet, authorities said yesterday. A Merchant Marine Ministry statement said the migrants located on Farmakonisi had been ferried over from Turkey in a speedboat. The smuggler who organized the trip was believed to be among the 20 people arrested. North of Kalymnos and east of Leipsoi in the Dodecanese, tiny Farmakonisi is closer to the Turkish coast than to any other Greek island, which makes it a particularly attractive destination for people-smugglers. Saturday’s arrests bring to around 60 the migrants caught on the islet this year. Meanwhile, in the Thracian town of Alexandroupolis, police said on Saturday they had detained 11 illegal immigrants from Georgia and Eritrea in an abandoned house, where they had been hidden by a smuggling gang pending transportation to Athens.