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144 migrants found, boat drivers remanded (updated)

migrant boat
File photo: a boat with migrants

Authorities on Saturday said 117 migrants were found off Cyprus’ shores, after two boats were spotted by marine police. Another 27 were later found wandering in a Larnaca village.

All migrants have been transferred to the Pournara reception centre while two individuals, aged 20 and 49, were remanded for driving the boats.

The first boat was spotted at 5pm on Friday close to Ayia Napa, carrying 21 individuals from Syria of which 12 were men, two women and seven children. Three of the children were unaccompanied minors.

All migrants were taken to Ayia Napa marina to document their arrival, where the 20-year-old who was described as the boat driver was arrested. The remaining 20 individuals were taken to Pournara in Kokkinotrimithia.

The second boat was spotted at 7pm on Friday off Cape Greco. It had 96 migrants from Syria, of which 65 were men, six women and 25 children. Fourteen of the children were unaccompanied minors.

They too were transferred to Ayia Napa marina and consequently Pournara. A 49-year-old man was arrested for driving the boat.

Both boat drivers were then remanded for six days at Famagusta district court on Saturday.

Authorities also said at 11:30pm on Friday, 27 migrants were spotted wandering around the Troullous area. They were 24 men, two women and one child.

They were also transferred to Pournara.

 

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