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Greek border guards detain Ukrainian yacht with 57 illegal migrants from Afghanistan

The border guard service noted that the Ukrainian sailors served as the victims in the migrants' transportation scheme
15:38, 11 October 2018

State Border Guard of Ukraine

In the Mediterranean Sea, at Paliovuna region, the Greek law enforcers detained a Ukrainian yacht with 57 illegal migrants within the joint operation with the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine. Three citizens of Ukraine were among the crew of the vessel as the border guards reported.

"The next day, at the Athens Airport, the law enforcer detained one of the partakers of the criminal organization who passed the recruited Ukrainians abroad during 20170-2018 where they were involved in the mentioned criminal activity," the border guards reported.

Related: Foreign Ministry confirms detention of 3 Ukrainians for illegal migrants transportation

It is noted that from the point of view of the Ukrainian legislation, the Ukrainian sailors serve as the victims in this criminal scheme.

"They were recruited and taken abroad for the involvement in the further crimes. In the majority of the cases the fraudulent methods of the conviction were used to motivate the Ukrainians to the commitment of the criminal activity; they were not reported the real aim of the transportation of the people at the yachts and in 100% of the cases they were not reported about the negative consequences in the case of their detention," the message said.

Related: Authorities not interested in returning Ukrainian migrant workers home

Oleg Slobodyan, Ukrainian Deputy Head of the State Border Guard Service, claimed to 112 Ukraine that it was not the first case of the cooperation of the Ukrainian border guards and Europol.

"It is not the first case of the efficient cooperation of the State Border Guard Service with the departments of Europol. Our aim here is to liquidate the channels of the transportation of the illegal migrant as even these sailors are most likely to be the victims of such business as very often they do not know why they are hired and do not understand the level of their responsibility and what they will face in the case of the exposal. In this case, our compatriots transferred 57 citizens of Afghanistan. Our citizens need the legal support from the Foreign Ministry that is already provided as far as I know," he said.

Related: 2500 illegal migrants revealed in Ukraine over month

Over two hundred Ukrainian sailors are now held in custody in Greece and Italy. State Secretary for Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry Andriy Zayets said that on August 7.

As of June, there were 151 Ukrainian sailors in Greece, 98 of them were detained for transporting illegal migrants. Over a hundred Ukrainian citizens are now held in Italian prisons, judged for the same kind of violation.

Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry reported that 42 citizens of Ukraine were convicted and 78 Ukrainians are under the investigation in Greece due to the accusation of the transfer of the illegal migrants.

Related: 108 Ukrainians accused of illegal transport of migrants detained in Italy, - ombudswoman

Earlier we reported that 214 Ukrainian sailors imprisoned in Greece, India, Spain, Libya, Oman and Sri-Lanka.

According to Baltic and International Maritime Council and ISF, 69,000 Ukrainians worked on foreign ships in 2015. Ukraine was enlisted to the TOP-6 largest supplier of the workforce to the ship owners.

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