A 52-year-old man was on Saturday remanded in police custody for six days after being arrested for people smuggling when a boat carrying 21 men, women and children arrived in the Famagusta district on Friday.

“At noon yesterday, a suspicious target was detected by radar in the sea area southeast of Cape Greco,” police said on Saturday.

“At 12.30pm, a port and maritime police vessel located and intercepted in the above area, a small boat, in which 21 people were on board,” the police added. These were 13 men, two women, and six children, aged two to ten.

The police went on to say that the people onboard were safely carried to the Ayia Napa marina.

It was later determined the boat travelled from Syria, having started its journey on Thursday.

“According to the testimonies obtained, the person commanding the boat was the 52-year-old man, who was arrested after a warrant was issued,” police said.

He was taken to court on Saturday morning where the remand order was issued.

The remaining 20 passengers, after the completion of all relevant procedures, were transferred to the Pournara reception centre.

According to police spokesman Christos Andreou they had each paid $3,000 to get out of Syria.