Nine crew members have been arrested for illegal entry into the country and for illegal trafficking of foreigners, after a fishing vessel sank about 47 miles south-west of Pylos, in southern Greece, killing dozens of people.
The Greek coastguard said nine Egyptian nationals aged between 20 and 40 were arrested in violation of the law, on suspicion of setting up a criminal organization, manslaughter, exposure to danger, and causing a shipwreck.
A new tragedy has happened in the Mediterranean, as at least 78 migrants have drowned, more than 100 have been rescued and many more feared dead after their fishing vessel sank about 47 miles south-west of Pylos.
Coastguard officials told in a statement the nine men were arrested, aged 26, 21, 40, 36, 32, 26, 22, 29 and 20 years old, crew of the ship and of Egyptian nationality, for having “distinct roles in transporting the rest.”
The Coast Guard said “The Port Authority of Kalamata, with the assistance of the officers of the Maritime Border Security and Protection Directorate, in cooperation with the investigation with the Mobile Office of Europol, which was requested for its assistance in the framework of the National Operation Plan, arrested nine men of the above rescued, of Egyptian nationality, aged 26, 21, 40, 36, 32, 26, 22, 29 and 20 years old, crew of the ship, who had distinct roles in transporting the rest. Consequently, they were arrested for illegal entry into the country, for illegal trafficking of foreigners, in violation of Law 3386/2005 and Law 4251/2014 as in force, as well as articles 187 (criminal organization), 277 (causing shipwreck), 302 (manslaughter) and 306 (endangering life) of the P.C.”
Currently preliminary investigation is carried out by the central Port authority of Kalamata, in Greece.
Documentary images from inside the fishing boat with the migrants, just before the shipwreck off Pylos, were shown on the main news bulletin of Greek media station MEGA.
The migrants, as shown in MEGA’s video, are sitting suffocating next to each other, with their knees glued to their chests. In the background, a few women and small children can be seen.
In accordance with the latest reports, one frigate of the Hellenic Navy, three ships and one helicopter of the Hellenic Coast Guard are operating in the area.
It is also known that so far 104 foreigners have been rescued and 78 bodies have been recovered.
The Mediterranean region near Greece is a key route for migrants and refugees. The number of undocumented people emerging on European shores has spiraled this year due to conflict, and the global inequality.
Irregular entries refer to the process of traveling across borders without adhering to the necessary requirements for legal entry, according to the European Commission.