Smugglers Find New Routes to Ferry Migrants to Greece



refugees crowdTraffickers have found new routes to carry migrants to Greece, as indicated by the large number of people who have entered the country from different spots, making registration procedures more difficult.

In an attempt to circumvent the registration hot spots on Lesvos, Chios, Kos, Samos and Leros — the main destinations from nearby Turkish shores — smugglers have carried hundreds of people to unexpected destinations, even close to mainland Greece.

On Sunday, the Hellenic Coast Guard rescued 114 people off the island of Milos. The migrants are kept at the port since there are no registration facilities. However, it is not clear how these people will be processed.

At the same time, 131 migrants are kept in a football filed in the coastal town of Methoni, in Peloponnese. The migrants were found on the coast of nearby Pylos.

In northern Greece, 214 migrants crossed the Turkish-Greek border in Evros, northeastern Greece, in the past few days.

According to official figures, currently there are 14,950 migrants and refugees on the five islands with official hot spots, while a total of 60,441 are in various migrant camps all over Greece. Allegedly, the figure is much higher since a large number of them were never registered.

The migrants in the new arrival points cannot be recorded since there are no facilities for full registration and identification in the European system (eurodac). For proper registration they should be moved inland.

It is unclear whether these people belong in the category of those eligible to be sent back to Turkey, as per the European Union-Turkey agreement of March 20. However, the agreement is in limbo ever since the military coup attempt in Turkey on July 15.


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