Illegal Migrant Journeys to Greece Continue

Syrian Migrants

Over the past 24 hours, the Greek authorities have reported that around 140 migrants have braved the perilous Mediterranean Sea to reach Greek shores. However, one male, who had embarked from North Africa, tragically drowned off the southern island of Crete.

Greece, along with Italy and Spain, acts as a primary entry point for individuals from the Middle East and Africa seeking a better life within the European Union. The vast majority embark on hazardous boat crossings from adjacent Turkey or Libya to reach Greek territory.

Rescue Operations and Departures

According to the Greek Coast Guard, 37 individuals (34 men and three boys) were rescued by a merchant vessel on Thursday, approximately 95 miles south of Crete, after sending a distress signal. Tragically, an additional male passenger from the boat perished after falling overboard, as confirmed by survivors and the vessel's captain. All survivors were transported to Crete and reported having set sail from eastern Libya on Tuesday.

Additionally, on Thursday, authorities discovered 88 individuals (51 men, eight women, and 19 children) on a beach near Monemvassia in southeastern mainland Greece. The origin of their departure is uncertain, but the area aligns with a known smuggling route used by traffickers to transport individuals from Turkey to Greece or Italy.

In separate incidents on Thursday and Friday, authorities intercepted 22 people on an islet near the southeastern island of Symi. The Coast Guard stated that these individuals had paid smugglers to transport them from neighboring Turkey.

Recent Migrant Arrivals to Greece

To date in 2023, close to 16,000 migrants have arrived in Greece, primarily via sea. In comparison, this figure exceeded 48,000 in 2022.

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