Famagusta district court on Friday approved a seven-day remand for a 26-year-old man arrested in connection with the illegal transportation of migrants.
According to police, he is allegedly the operator of the boat that was spotted on Thursday afternoon off Cape Greco, 14 nautical miles from the coast, with 21 migrants on board.
The boat was spotted shortly after 5pm on Thursday by port and maritime police radar moving off Cape Greco at a distance of 14 nautical miles from the coast.
The alarm was raised and a maritime police shuttle was rushed to the spot, which “located the seven-metre boat with the irregular migrants on board. Of the total, 14 were men, three were women and four were children, of which one was unaccompanied”.
According to testimonies obtained by the police, one of the migrants appears to have been the captain of the boat. The police arrested the 26-year-old for illegal entry, while according to reports, authorities were also investigating a case of people-smuggling.
Police are reportedly investigating six offences against the suspect, including conspiracy to commit a felony, assisting a third-country person to illegally enter the Republic, assisting a third-country person with intent and for gain and transporting a person by waterway in an unsafe or overloaded vessel.
The boat was found to be submerged in water and a second coast guard vessel was deployed to the spot to transport the migrants to the Golden Coast fishing shelter.
Members of the police proceeded to check the groups documents and they were subsequently transferred to the Pournara temporary migrant accommodation centre in Kokkinotrimithia outside Nicosia.