Around 150 illegal migrants from Afghanistan and Pakistan arrived in custody at Piraeus Port on Tuesday in order to be transferred to a migrant detention center before they are sent back to their countries.
The migrants arrived handcuffed in Hellenic Police vans on Blue Star 1 ferry coming from Mytilene Port of Lesbos. The operation is part of the new agreement between the European Union and Turkey on tackling the refugee inflow. This is the first time that the Greek government separated economic migrants from refugees at the five island hotspots.
Police vans were awaiting the migrants in order to transport them to the migrant detention center in Corinth.
One of the detainees managed to speak to a Mega television reporter and complained that they are handcuffed. He said that the migrants landed on Lesbos within the past 25 days after they paid 1,000 euros each to Turkish people smugglers to put them on boats and carry them to Greece. He also said that none of them had legal identification documents.
Spokesperson for the refugee coordinating committee Giorgos Kyritsis claimed that the migrants were not handcuffed. Speaking on Mega television on Tuesday morning, Kyritsis said that they were handcuffed at the Mytilene Port but not while on the ferry.
The Citizens’ Protection Ministry denied media reports suggesting that the migrants were placed in handcuffs during their transfer by ferry. The ministry claims that the migrants were under police guard during the journey and were only briefly handcuffed while they were transferred from the ferry onto police buses.
The migrants will be detained at the Corinth center before they are deported, according to Greek police.