Police on high alert in Kato Pyrgos area, in case more immigrants arrive in Cyprus

Police on high alert in Kato Pyrgos area, in case more immigrants arrive in Cyprus

Cyprus Police Spokesman Andreas Angelides has said that the police are on high alert in the coastal area of Kato Pyrgos, on the northwestern part of the island, having been tipped off to expect more immigrants from Mersin, Turkey.

Justice and Public Order Minister Ionas Nicolaou has given instructions for further security measures to be taken in the area, including the presence of coastal police boat to help in the arrest of human traffickers and the protection of immigrants, an official press release has said.

In statements at police headquarters on Wednesday, Angelides said that 14 out of 15 immigrants who arrived in Cyprus in the early hours of today have travel documents, while the one who does not appears to be under age. Once they submit their applications for political asylum, they are set to be released to join their relatives who legally reside in Cyprus, he added.

Police were tipped off that the immigrants had arrived in the government controlled areas of the Republic late yesterday evening from Mersin, Turkey via the island`s northern Turkish occupied areas.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. UN led talks resumed in May 2015 aiming to reunite the island under a federal roof.

The police, he continued, “are evaluating specific information on the (human) traffickers and investigations into the case are continuing.”

The police spokesman assured that police presence in the area has increased.

On the basis of the information received, more immigrants from Mersin are expected at the same spot, he said, adding that “police are on high alert in cooperation with other state authorities.”

This is the second arrival of illegal immigrants in a short space of time in the same area, since another nine immigrants from Syria arrived on August 2.