Egypt's Banque Misr seen launching its first digital bank by May-end    Swvl to invest $20 million in Egyptian market this year    Gold prices in Egypt on May 19    Egypt to inaugurate new Sphinx International Airport in mid-July    Turkey's finance minister to visit Egypt for first time in 9 years    Finland and Sweden formally apply to join NATO alliance    Saudi Arabia prolongs Yemen central bank's deposit    Egypt Knauf launches its first training centre in Egypt    Egypt uncovers official logo for COP27    Noura Al-Mutair – first Gulf female boxer in World Championships    Egypt unveils 50 pound coin minted to mark Avenue of Sphinxes grand reopening    Liverpool fans: "You'll Never Walk Alone" to Cristiano Ronaldo    Hot, rainy weather hits Egypt this week    COVID-19 in Egypt: infections fall to 124 cases last week    Egypt to play key role in integrating water, climate issues globally – World Bank official    Egypt's telecoms regulator announces working hours for holy month of Ramadan    Maha karara joins AAIB as Head of Corporate Communications, Sustainability    Egypt works on charting cooperation strategies with international institutions for 5 years: Al-Mashat    Over 2.4 million newborns examined for hearing impairment: Health Ministry    Netflix releases trailer of Arab adaption of 'Perfect Strangers' film    Balqees to headline concert celebrating launch of streaming giant LIVENow in MENA    Sawsan Badr to be honoured at Aswan Women Film Festival    MP Abdel Hady Al-Qasby calls government to facilitate and support NGOs    Al-Sisi follows up on 'Great Transfiguration Project' in St. Catherine    Cairo, London stress need to strengthen cooperation to face climate change    Foreigners account for 22.6% of Egypt's T-bills issuances in 1H 2021: CBE    Egypt's ambassador to Italy passes away    Egypt confirms readiness to help African countries face terrorism and extremism    An estimated 235 million people needed humanitarian assistance and protection in 2021, an increase of 40% compared to 2020: IOM Egypt    Egypt, DRC discuss water cooperation during WYF    Egypt, DR Congo discuss boosting bilateral cooperation during WYF    Cameroonian police probe assault on three Algerian journalists covering AFCON    Pharaohs start AFCON 2021 campaign with fierce clash against Nigeria    Foreign Ministry opens capacity building course for French-speaking African diplomats    Egypt's trade with Nile basin countries climbs 26% y-o-y in 9 months    Ethiopia halts work at its embassy in Egypt for 'economic reasons'    Russia says it's in sync with US, China, Pakistan on Taliban    It's a bit frustrating to draw at home: Real Madrid keeper after Villarreal game    Shoukry reviews with Guterres Egypt's efforts to achieve SDGs, promote human rights    Sudan says countries must cooperate on vaccines    Johnson & Johnson: Second shot boosts antibodies and protection against COVID-19    Egypt to tax bloggers, YouTubers    Egypt's FM asserts importance of stability in Libya, holding elections as scheduled    We mustn't lose touch: Muller after Bayern win in Bundesliga    Egypt records 36 new deaths from Covid-19, highest since mid June    Egypt sells $3 bln US-dollar dominated eurobonds    Gamal Hanafy's ceramic exhibition at Gezira Arts Centre is a must go    Italian Institute Director Davide Scalmani presents activities of the Cairo Institute for ITALIANA.IT platform    

Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.

UK bases on Cyprus boost fight against migrant traffickers
Published in Ahram Online on 07 - 07 - 2021

Authorities at a British military base on Cyprus have hired 50% more customs officers and procured detection equipment to better thwart illegal immigration from the breakaway north of the ethnically split island.
The addition of 24 new officers and four SUVs _ two with thermal imaging cameras _ allows authorities to patrol around-the-clock along a 45-kilometer (28-mile) boundary, Customs and Immigration Chief Adam Chatfield said.
There's a rising trend in migrant arrivals over the last three years. In 2018, authorities located 17 people trying to cross in six instances. That jumped to 33 people in 16 crossing attempts a year later, while 67 people were intercepted in nine attempted crossings last year.
Cyprus was cleft along ethnic lines in 1974 when Turkey invaded following a coup aimed at union with Greece. The breakaway Turkish Cypriot north declared independence nearly a decade later, but only Turkey recognizes it and maintains more than 35,000 troops there.
A buffer zone controlled by UN peacekeepers separates the north from the Greek Cypriot south where the island's internationally recognized government is seated. Although Cyprus is a European Union member, only the southern part enjoys the bloc's full benefits.
The EU is boosting the role of its border guard and ramping up security and surveillance along its eastern borders, including nearby Greece where authorities have extended a border wall facing Turkey and set up high-tech observation towers.
Dhekelia Garrison, one of two military bases that the UK retained after Cyprus gained independence from British colonial rule in 1960, directly abuts the north along a corridor of farmland, abandoned homes and fields that offers secluded routes for smugglers, or for migrants to cross.
There's not even a fence to separate the base from the north.
Chatfield told The Associated Press that the migrants are usually intercepted in groups of 10 to 20 at an average rate of once a month. The overwhelming majority now are Syrian men seeking asylum in the south.
Authorities on the base have an agreement with the Cypriot government to transfer asylum-seekers to the south where their claims are processed. Chatfield said arrangements are made to return those who don't apply for asylum to the north.
Chatfield said an international network of traffickers charges $5,000 per person to smuggle migrants into the south.
``Some come soaking wet straight from the boat with nothing but the clothes on their back,`` he said. ``Detecting traffickers is a key priority for us and we'll continue to do so.''
Cyprus has accused Turkey of deliberately channeling migrants in from the north, and has asked the EU's border agency Frontex to step in and help.
The government says its ability to host more migrants has been stretched beyond its limits, and also wants the EU to manage the arrival of Syrians _ either directly from Syria or from Lebanon or Turkey, including relocating them to other EU states.
Officials say 3,896 Syrians have reached Cyprus from Turkey in the last two years, usually flying into the north before crossing southward.

Clic here to read the story from its source.