Police nab 95 illegal migrants

Police detained 75 illegal immigrants and three traffickers yesterday near Greece’s border with Turkey, authorities said. The immigrants – Palestinians, Iraqis, Nigerians and Mauritanians – were traveling in three trucks driven by Greeks in the northeastern region of Rhodope. They had reportedly paid 1,000 euros each to be smuggled to Athens. No information regarding the suspected human traffickers was available. Separately, the Merchant Marine Ministry said that 20 illegal immigrants were detained on the islands of Samos and Lesvos. The immigrants, all men, told authorities that they had sailed to Greece from Turkey on inflatable boats. According to official data, authorities have arrested some 23,000 illegal immigrants in Greece in the first nine months of 2006. More than half of them, about 13,000, have tried to enter the country through the Greek-Turkish border, the usual route for Europe-bound immigrants coming from Asia and the Middle East.

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