Last Update: 21:28
A major operation by the Attica Security Police Organized Crime Squad was underway on Friday to dismantle a network of migrant traffickers illegally smuggling people into Greece from Turkey and from there by boat to Italy and other European countries. The operation, which began on Thursday, was focused on Attica and western Greece on Friday, where 13 people have been arrested so far.
Working with the coast guard, the Hellenic Police located a vessel in the Ionian Sea with 33 foreign nationals on board bound for Italy. According to Greek authorities, the lives of the migrants were at risk since the boat was in poor condition, designed for fewer people and had no life-saving equipment. The vessel was confiscated, while its Albanian skipper, a member of the trafficking ring, and the 33 migrants were taken into custody.
Based on the evidence collected by the authorities so far, the network smuggled migrants from Turkey via Evros and then brought them to Athens. They were then taken to western Greece, mainly Preveza and Igoumenitsa, boarded on boat in quiet, secluded sections of the coast and transported to Italy.(source: ana-mpa)