The number of cargo trucks leaving Greece for other European countries, and especially for Italy through the port of Patras, was significantly reduced after capital controls were imposed on Greek banks last month. As a result, a major decrease was also recorded in the number of undocumented migrants leaving Greece illegally to reach other European countries.
“The number of illegal migrants staying around the port in the hope of sneaking onto a vehicle bound further into the European Union has dropped,” stated Harbor Master Tryfon Korontzis. He added that the number of migrants sleeping in abandoned buildings near the port or begging at traffic lights has also dropped, suggesting that this may be connected to the capital controls imposition, since illegal migrants are now seeking other ways to leave the country.
Migrant smuggling operation from Turkey to Greece worth 200,000 euros
A human trafficking organization received a total of 200,000 euros for one single operation, during which they transferred 110 Syrians from Turkey to Greece. This information came to light when Greek police arrested a truck driver who had allegedly picked up the illegal migrants on the Greek-Turkish border, thus facilitating their transfer to the country, on Saturday, July 25.
Police officers received several phone calls regarding a suspicious-looking truck that was moving on Egnatia Odos in northern Greece. Authorities quickly rushed to the highway and arrested the Turkish truck driver.
Upon inspection, they found 110 Syrian undocumented migrants hiding in the truck, 39 of whom were children. The migrants told Greek authorities they had paid 1,800 euros each to the smugglers in order to help them cross the Greek-Turkish border. Furthermore, they stressed that they had been waiting for three days for the truck that eventually picked them up.