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Greece: 7 Egyptians held, suspected of crewing migrant boat



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ATHENS, Greece — Greek authorities say they’ve arrested seven Egyptians suspected of getting crewed a fishing boat full of almost 500 migrants that misplaced steering in excessive winds off Crete and triggered a significant rescue effort earlier this week.

The seven have been arrested on suspicion of being concerned in migrant smuggling, after a preliminary investigation recognized them as allegedly having been members of the vessel’s crew, the coast guard stated Friday.

The rusting 25-meter (82-foot) ship had been heading from Libya to Italy with 483 individuals on board when it misplaced steering south of Crete early Tuesday. These on board made an emergency name to authorities, who launched a rescue operation. The fishing boat was ultimately towed to Crete.

It was one of many largest numbers of migrants to have arrived collectively within the nation lately.

In response to the preliminary investigation, during which the European police company Europol was additionally concerned, the passengers had paid a smuggling ring $3,000-$4,000 every to be transported to Italy, the coast guard stated. On the ship have been 336 males, 10 ladies, 128 boys and 9 ladies from Syria, Egypt, Pakistan, Sudan and the Palestinian territories.

Tens of hundreds of individuals fleeing battle and poverty within the Center East, Asia and Africa attempt to make their means into the European Union annually by way of perilous sea journeys. The overwhelming majority head to jap Greek islands from the close by Turkish coast in small inflatable dinghies, or try and cross on to Italy from north Africa and Turkey in bigger vessels.

Greek Migration Minister Notis Mitarachi despatched a letter to the European Fee Tuesday requesting that the passengers be relocated to different EU nations. He argued that Greece and different of the 27-member bloc’s border nations the place many migrants first arrive of their effort to succeed in wealthier European international locations “can’t be anticipated to shoulder an ever-increasing burden out of proportion to their respective capacities.”

Observe AP’s world migration protection at https://apnews.com/hub/migration

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