Three Arrested Over Migrant Boat Smuggling

Three Arrested Over Migrant Boat Smuggling

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arrestedThree men, believed to be members of a migrant-smuggling ring, were arrested after an incident on Jan. 5 in which 37 illegal migrants were endangered in a distressed boat spotted off northern Crete.

A 55-year-old local man from Heraklion and two foreign nationals aged 27 and 64 were apprehended and charged with being members of the ring that undertook the transport of the illegal migrants that was spotted in distress near the islet of Dia, north of Heraklion, which was later led safely to port by the Coast Guard.

An alert was sounded at the Merchant Marine Ministry’s operations center following a telephone call that a boat carrying a large number of people was in difficulty. An operation was immediately launched to locate the boat, and a helicopter combing the area off of northern Crete spotted the boat near the islet of Dia.

The boat, which was identified as the Moonraker, had set off from Crete possibly headed for Italy. The immigrants, including a woman and a minor, who were reported to be well. The three men arrested were taken before a Heraklion prosecutor facing felony charges, and weree due to be taken before an examining magistrate.

(Source: AMNA)