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GreekReporter.comGreeceSeventy-three Migrants in Damaged Boat Rescued Off Greece's Western Coast

Seventy-three Migrants in Damaged Boat Rescued Off Greece's Western Coast

Greek Coast Guard. Credit: ERT

Greek authorities announced that a damaged boat filled with 73 migrants and two alleged migrant smugglers was rescued off the coast of the island of Zakynthos on Saturday, after the vessel sent out a distress signal.
The migrants, with 23 children under the age of 15 among them, stated that they were from Syria, Afghanistan, Iran, and Turkey, although they did not have any identity documents with them.
Two Turkish nationals were arrested under suspicion of human trafficking. They are thought to belong to a criminal ring that is known to smuggle migrants into Europe.
However, they are claiming that they are also migrants.
Although not known with any certainty, the final destination of the boat was thought to have been Italy.
Despite being rescued off the coast of Zakynthos by the Greek Coast Guard, the migrants were brought to the port of Katakolo in the Peloponnese because of the strict coronavirus measures in place on the island.
All of the migrants picked up on Saturday will be subject to coronavirus testing.
So far in 2020, a total of 11,480 migrants have arrived on Greek shores. Of those, over 80% arrived by sea from Turkey. Although still a large number, this represents a drastic reduction in arrivals compared to 2019, when approximately 75,000 migrants arrived in the country.
The decrease in the number of arrivals is thought to be due to a combination of the coronavirus pandemic and stricter border protections around Greece.

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