NEWS

80 illegal immigrants detained on Crete

Police and coast guard were combing the coast of southwestern Crete for dozens of illegal immigrants who landed in the area early yesterday. By the afternoon, around 80 migrants had been arrested, and were detained in the village of Palaiochora, at the island’s southwestern edge, where they were provided with food and clothing. Up to 40 more were believed to have got off a wooden boat found beached at Gialiskari, a few kilometers east of Palaiochora. All the detainees were males. Three were taken to the hospital in Hania to be treated for hypothermia and heart problems. A Merchant Marine Ministry announcement said the immigrants claimed to be Palestinians who had set sail from Turkey for a destination in Italy. Egyptian illegal immigrants landing on Crete routinely claim to be Palestinians, in hope of receiving more lenient treatment.