| 16 April 2024, Tuesday |

Greek authorities stop Syrian refugees disguised as sports team to go to Vienna

Syrian refugees, disguised as members of a sports team, tried to leave Greece, Athens airport police announced, in the third such incident in three years.

Police said Monday that nine Syrians, wearing volleyball team uniforms and carrying false travel documents, tried to board a flight to Vienna’s airport in Austria late Sunday.

And last year, authorities arrested 12 other Syrians disguised as handball players who were carrying fake Bulgarian passports while trying to board a flight to Vienna.

In 2019, ten Syrian refugees who disguised themselves as volleyball players were arrested at the airport and in possession of stolen and forged passports while trying to leave Greece.

Greece is the first country in the European Union to reach migrants, but they have to stay in it while waiting for their asylum applications to be processed.

Greece has tightened its immigration policy since Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis came to power in 2019.

The authorities have intensified patrols at the border while the process of processing asylum applications has been speeded up and aid cuts have been cut, even for those granted asylum.

AL Hurra