The 25 migrants whose inflatable boat was intercepted off the Akamas peninsula on Thursday morning were later in the day transferred to the Kokkinotrimithia reception centre for asylum seekers, while police arrested one of the persons on board as the suspected trafficker.
All 25 persons – five women, six children and 14 men – on board the boat have since been identified as Syrian nationals. The boat had reportedly started out from the coast of Turkey.
The seven-meter inflatable boat was spotted north of the Akamas peninsula about 40 minutes after midnight.
A Cypriot coast guard vessel rendezvoused with the inflatable around 2.45am. The migrants boarded the coast guard vessel as their boat was taking in water.
After providing first aid to the irregular migrants and interviewing them, police placed under arrest a 30-year-old man on suspicion of human trafficking and for aiding and abetting the illegal entry of non-EU nationals into the territory of the Republic.