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Turkish Coast Guard Officer Identified For Trafficking Migrants at 1,000 EUR Per Head. Top NGOs Too.


London, Monday, 10 October 2022


The coast guard has filed cases of migrant smuggling against two renowned non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and traffickers in Turkey who were involved in the movement of migrants to two islands in the summer of 2021.


Communications eavesdropped by the National Intelligence Service (EYP) reveal that NGO volunteers in Greece were informed of migrant transit and, in one instance, had photos of the migrants preparing to try the sea passage to Greece.


According to the results of the coast guard inquiry, an officer in the Turkish coast guard served as the trafficking's organiser. He presented the migrants his official ID card to reassure them of the viability and success of their journey and to seek payment of €1,000 per person.


An ex-policeman from Somalia who was among the migrants later apprehended revealed to Greek authorities that he had spent a month as the Turkish coast guard officer's guest.


Transports of migrants to the islands of Kos and Farmakonissi in July and August 2021 are at the centre of the two instances. An examining magistrate in Kos is currently in possession of the reports.


Armed forces alerted the Kos port administration to a dinghy approaching the coast, sparking the investigation. When the Coast Guard personnel arrived at the landing spot, they discovered that the dinghy and its motor had been destroyed. The migrants were not visible at the time, but 14 of them were later discovered by the coast guard and police.


Soon later, two emails written to a lawyer who also serves as the director of an NGO were obtained by the authorities. A list of the names and pictures of the dinghy passengers was included in the emails. Authorities were informed by a few of the migrants that a man from Cameroon who was a representative of the traffickers had accompanied them.


The 40-year-old guy was subsequently detained, and the Greek police's Digital Evidence Lab received his cellphone. Similar to this, lists and pictures of passengers were supplied to NGOs prior to the August 2021 crossing to Farmakonissi. NGOs receive the names so they can take action to stop any deportations.


In 2020, the Greek coast guard and police had also discovered cases of trafficking against NGOs operating on Lesvos. The allegations resulted in the NGOs ceasing to operate and the volunteers from central and northern Europe departing Greece. However, in these instances, there was insufficient evidence to prove that an NGO was involved in trafficking.


(Source: kathimerini.com // Report and edit by: The Decision Maker – International Relations  editors)