Cyprus Mail

Newly-arrived migrants taken to Kokkinotrimithia

A total of 298 migrants, including 201 men, 25 women, 46 boys and 26 girls, were on Monday being hosted at Kokkinotrimithia reception centre in Nicosia, Civil Defence Commander Andreas Frantzis said.

Some 305 migrants arrived in Cyprus overnight on Saturday aboard two boats, one of which was towed to Latchi port and the other taken to Kato Pyrgos Tyllirias after the migrants were rescued from the vessel, which was said to be taking in water.

A 36-year-old who was with one of two boatloads was arrested as a suspected trafficker on Sunday after testimony given by the migrants. He was remanded for eight days by the Paphos court later in the day.  A second suspected trafficker aged 29, was also arrested from the second boat and was due in court on Monday.

Three more of the migrants, two aged 17 and one aged 24 were also arrested on suspicion of having fake Syrian identification documents.

The migrants were all said to be Syrians and had left from Mersin in Turkey. They told police that they had each paid $2,000 to the people smugglers.

Authorities had received the information that the two boats were headed for Cyprus at around 4pm on Saturday and that one was at risk of taking in water. Rescue teams were mobilised. The vessels entered Cyprus territorial waters around 6pm and landed in the early hours of Sunday.

Frantzis told CNA that civil defence officers offered food, water and other essential goods to the migrants who were given first aid treatment and were taken to Polis Chrysochous police station in order to collect their personal data and register them in lists.
One woman and her new born baby were taken to hospital while the police arrested five persons in connection with the illegal arrival of the immigrants.

The others were transported by bus, escorted by civil defence officers and an interpreter, to Kokkinotrimithia reception centre, where they are now accommodated in tents.

Frantzis said that medical tests for all immigrants would be carried out and afterwards they would be taken to police where their fingerprints will be taken. They can then declare whether they want to submit an asylum application.

Those who will be officially registered as asylum seekers and who secure health documents will be able to enter Cyprus and stay until their applications are processed, he said.

Social Welfare Services would take care of the minors.

Frantzis said that this was the fourth arrival of migrants Cyprus since the beginning of July and he said the civil defence also offered help to 12 other individuals who crossed the Green Line recently.

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