NEWS

Migrant smugglers get long terms, huge fines

Three Turkish nationals who were arrested last week for smuggling into the country some 300 illegal migrants and abandoning them at Mandoudi on the island of Evia, were convicted on Saturday and given heavy sentences and fines. The three, identified as Mohammed Demertzi, 39, captain; Suleiman Saritak, 34, second mate; and Beli Hisli, 51, ship’s engineer, were sentenced by the three-judge court in Halkida to 10 years in jail and a fine of 539,200,000 drachmas each. The 30-meter ship was confiscated. The sentences are the heaviest handed down so far in a case of migrant trafficking. Authorities to date have found 275 of an estimated 350 migrants, including 14 women and 13 children. Most of them are believed to be Iraqi Kurds and Afghans. Fears remain that some may have drowned.