Many illegal migrants held

The coast guard arrested 45 illegal immigrants yesterday after their trawler ran aground on the island of Sphacteria, northwest of Pylos in the southern Peloponnese, the Merchant Marine Ministry said. Authorities had been monitoring the ship since Sunday before it ran aground yesterday morning, forcing the immigrants, all men, to abandon ship. They scattered over the island before being rounded up by the coast guard. Police arrested eight illegal immigrants in Palaia Fokaia, some 40 kilometers (25 miles) southeast of Athens yesterday. The men claimed they arrived on a boat via Syria and Egypt along with other migrants. Chios coast guard arrested 16 illegal immigrants yesterday, part of a group of 42 that sailed to the island from Turkey. Cretan authorities arrested nine more illegal immigrants near the southern village of Matala, bringing the total arrested since Monday, when their trawler sank, to 84. Two Turkish nationals were arrested in Samos yesterday on suspicion of smuggling seven Africans into Greece on a speedboat.

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