Rhodes: Turkish gendarme arrested for trying to smuggle illegal immigrants into Greece

illegal immigrants rhodes

The Coast Guard in Rhodes arrested a 21-year-old Turkish man for transporting illegal immigrants to Greece. The arrested man claims to serve as a qualified gunner with the rank of corporal in the Turkish gendarmerie.

The 21-year-old Turk was arrested when, on the morning of November 13, 2022, the coast guard was informed about an unruly vessel in the sea area of ​​Kalavardon-Soroni.

A coast guard vessel, which was on a scheduled patrol, rushed to the area and at 6:30 a.m. that day and spotted an orange high-speed inflatable boat in Greek territorial waters, without navigation lights, with a person of Turkish nationality.

The 21-year-old Turk admitted to the Greek port authority, where he was taken after his arrest, that he illegally transported immigrants from Datsa to Rhodes, whom he disembarked at Fanon beach and attempted to return with his speedboat to Turkish shores, but it broke down and he had to ask for help.

He confessed that he is originally from Istanbul and serves as a qualified gunner with the rank of corporal in the Turkish gendarmerie. As he said, he serves in a military base in Hakkari and came to Rhodes with the purpose of transporting migrants.

The Turk also claimed that he is in debt and that his salary in the army is small (8,000 Turkish liras per month).

As he said in his testimony, according to Dimokratiki, two weeks ago in a café he heard a man talking on the phone and looking for captains. He approached him and told him he was interested and he replied that he could make a lot of money with two routes. So he was issued a speedboat license and did tests.

The 21-year-old said that he started on the night of November 12 from Datsa from a small port and the person he met transported the immigrants in a white van, put them on the boat and he started for Rhodes. He transported, as he said, 10 immigrants, two women, four men and four children.

After setting sail they passed west of Symi and came out at Fanes. There he landed the migrants on the beach and started to return to Turkey, but a few metres later his engine broke down and he called 112 to ask for help.

As he said, the immigrants were waiting for someone to pick them up and did not know where they were going. He also said he would receive €5,000 once the boat was returned.

Criminal charges were brought against the 21-year-old Turk for transporting people illegally.

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