Authorities in the north arrested a Turkish Cypriot man who was caught trying to smuggle four third-country nationals into the government-controlled areas, reports said on Friday.
The man, who has had several run ins with police in the north, was caught last Wednesday trying to smuggle four men to the south in his van through the military area in Mia Milia.
The four men, of African origin, arrived in the north a month ago on a 60-day visa after expressing interest in studying, and had paid the suspect to smuggle them into the government-controlled areas, reports in Turkish Cypriot media said.
They reportedly told authorities in the north that once in the south, they were planning to file for asylum. One of them, who is from Nigeria, said that before arriving to the north, he spoke on the phone with someone with a Republic of Cyprus number.
They paid the suspect €60 upfront and agreed to pay him €200 later, reports said.