Twenty-one illegal migrants were found in Kato Pyrgos Tillyrias early on Saturday, police said, after a boat was spotted in the sea off Cape Arnaoutis, Paphos.
The migrants, who are all men of Arab descent, were found onshore around 4am and were taken to the local police station to determine their status.
If they are asylum seekers, they will be transferred to Pournara reception camp, a police spokeswoman told the Cyprus Mail.
Meanwhile, police sources also confirmed that a vessel had been spotted around 1am off Cape Arnaoutis, Paphos which authorities attempted to approach. The boat instead increased speed and drove off towards the non-government-controlled areas.
The migrants found a few hours later are suspected of being the passengers of this boat, police sources said.
After the incident, the community leader of Kato Pyrgos Nicos Kleanthous told the Cyprus News Agency there is a need for more staff at the local police station and also more port and maritime police officers to deal with this new wave of immigration.
He said that more patrols are needed as many migrants are left by human traffickers in Limnitis, a little further up the coast in the north, and then walk “undisturbed” south towards Kato Pyrgos.