Shots fired in Evia sea chase

The coast guard arrested three suspected human traffickers on Saturday and detained 24 illegal immigrants after a boat chase off the central Greek island of Evia, the Merchant Marine Ministry said yesterday. The ministry said that a coast guard patrol boat ordered a sailing vessel to stop for an inspection, but the three-member crew tried to sail away without stopping. A chase followed when the suspects allegedly tried to ram their boat into the coast guard vessel and threatened to kill the immigrants if the Greek authorities boarded their boat. With the help of two more coast guard vessels, officials shot at and destroyed the sailing boat’s engine and captured the suspects. No information was given concerning the identity of the illegal immigrants or the suspects. Separately, the coast guard also detained on Saturday 30 illegal immigrants from Libya on the islet of Oinouses, in the eastern Aegean.

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