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Greek migrant traffickers arrested in Italy-bound speedboat

June 25, 2021 GMT

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Three suspects have been arrested in Greece on migrant smuggling charges after a speedboat bound for Italy was intercepted by the coast guard, authorities said on Friday.

The coast guard said the boat transporting seven migrants was stopped Thursday in the Ionian Sea, west of the island of Corfu. Forged identity documents were found in their luggage.

A 69-year-old Greek man was arrested on smuggling charges along with a Greek woman aged 35. A third suspect, described as a 37-year-old foreign national, was later arrested and accused of transporting the migrants from Athens to Corfu.

Smuggling networks remain active in the southern Balkans and Ionian Sea despite a sharp drop in arrivals in Greece during the pandemic.