ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Authorities in western Greece have arrested two people for allegedly trying to smuggle 71 migrants out of the country on a U.S.-flagged yacht.
The Greek merchant marine ministry said the yacht was stopped in the Gulf of Patras following a tip-off. The vessel is believed to have been heading for Italy.
The ministry says the suspects were identified as 25- and 27-year-old foreign citizens. No details were available on the nationalities of the migrants.
Mediterranean Free of Migrant Transport NGO Ships as Legal Battles Mount https://t.co/xgrIrJz5gK
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Thousands of migrants enter Greece illegally every year, mostly by sea from Turkey.
Border crackdowns by other European countries have made it increasingly difficult for them to continue their journeys to Europe’s prosperous heartland.
Tens of thousands are stuck in Greece, including nearly 20,000 migrants stranded on the Aegean Sea islands where most smuggling boats from Turkey arrive.