NEWS

Three boats of illegal immigrants stopped

A total of 54 illegal immigrants were arrested in the eastern Aegean in separate incidents over the weekend, after making clandestine trips from the Turkish coast in small vessels. In one instance, coast guard officials off Agrielia on the southeastern tip of Lesvos apprehended a suspected migrant smuggler in a small speedboat, along with 12 men who had paid a gang in Turkey to ferry them over to Greece. On Saturday, 31 illegal immigrants, including two women, were arrested off the island’s eastern coast near the airport, in what a Merchant Marine Ministry announcement described as an «iron lifeboat.» Also on Saturday, coast guard officials off the island of Chios detained another 11 illegal immigrants, all men, in a small boat. The nationality of the 54 detainees and the identity of the suspected smuggler were not made public.