Authorities in the north have arrested three men, a Turkish national and two Turkish Cypriots, suspected of smuggling Syrian refugees arriving from Turkey to the government-controlled areas through the north, reports said on Thursday.
Phileleftheros, citing exclusive information, reported that the three men were arrested in the north a few days ago after Turkish Cypriot authorities have been collecting information on them for the past few months.
The daily said the Republic’s authorities have been informed that the arrest took place a few days ago in the Morphou area when the Turkish man, believed to be the mastermind, had a meeting with the other two.
The group are believed to have been smuggling migrants from the coast of Turkey to Cyprus and especially to the Tylliria and Chrysoschous areas, over the past two years.
The two Turkish Cypriots were reportedly waiting for the boats arriving from the Turkish coast carrying refugees at the Limnitis beach in the north and were using torchlight to guide the vessels to the spot where the passengers would disembark and were then led on foot to the government-controlled areas.
Even though this was not the only group organising such activities, the daily said, it is believed they were the main source for transfer of migrants to the Tylliria and Chrysochous areas.
Cyprus police on Thursday told the Cyprus Mail they had no information on the case.