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Two remanded after 147 migrants arrive from Lebanon

migrant boat
File photo: a boat with migrants

Two men were remanded at Famagusta district court on Saturday, in connection with two boats which reached Cape Greco carrying 147 migrants.

During questioning, the migrants identified the two men, aged 19 and 21, as the boat drivers. They were remanded for six days.

According to Famagusta police spokesman Steve Theodoulou, the migrants set off from Lebanon’s Tripoli on Thursday.

They paid US$2,500 each to an unknown person in Lebanon and reached Cyprus’ shores on Friday.

The first boat carried 30 migrants, including 13 men, six women and 11 children.

The second boat carried 117 migrants, including 92 men, eight women and 17 children.

They were transferred to Ayia Napa marina and then taken to Pournara reception centre.

MPs have warned against charging boat drivers with smuggling charges, as in reality, the boat drivers usually pay a lesser fee to the real smuggler.

“A smuggler is one who organises a trip and has a network in the destination and departure country, not the driver of the boat,” Disy MP Rita Superman said.

She specified that the boat drivers are also migrants who take on the responsibility of driving the boat, perhaps by paying less money.

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