Three Turkish citizens were arrested on charges of human trafficking as a total of 170 undocumented migrants in two sailing boats reached the shores of the island of Kythera, Greece on Wednesday.
Τhe migrants, mainly from Afghanistan, were found by the Hellenic Coast Guard on two beaches on Kythera. They were found to be in good health and were gathered by authorities for official registration.
Latest data published by the Hellenic Police on Tuesday showed a sharp increase in the number of undocumented migrants entering the country and of human traffickers arrested in Greece in the May to July 2022 trimester, compared to the same time period in 2021.
In releasing its seven-month statistics, the police said particularly high numbers were recorded at the Evros land borders with Turkey, where most human traffickers were arrested.
Of a total 386 traffickers arrested at land or sea borders from January to July 2022, 312 were apprehended in the Evros region. Of these, 219 were arrested in the last three months (May to July 2022), marking an increase of 58.7 percent over the same three months in 2021.
Sharp increase in illegal entry of migrants to Greece
Police statistics also show that the entry of undocumented migrants to Greece rose by 113.1 percent in May to July 2022 compared to the same time in 2021. In May 2021 to July 2021, there were 1,936 arrivals while a year later (May to July 2022), there were 4,126 arrivals of undocumented migrants to the country.
In total, 7,484 migrants were arrested for illegal entry to Greece in the first seven months of 2022. 3,554 of the total were arrested in the Evros border region.
The announcement added that the Hellenic Police has achieved significant results in arresting traffickers in collaboration with domestic and EU agencies at Greek and, therefore, EU borders.
The protection of human lives is always the priority for the police, it concluded.