Bulgarian Border Police Stops Yacht with 32 Illegal Immigrants onboard
Bulgarian border police detained 32 illegal immigrants onboard a motor yacht near the Black Sea resort of Sozopol.
At 4 pm on Sunday, the radars of the integrated maritime surveillance system at the Burgas regional border police directorate detected a motor yacht traveling to the Sozopol port, according to a media statement of the Interior Ministry.
The vessel did not respond to the identification calls by the local coordination center.
The yacht was trying to approach land while avoiding border patrols on the coast, which were supposed to meet it and redirect it for an entry inspection at the border crossing point.
The vessel, identified as "GAGALINI", was found to have many people onboard.
Two vessels of border police headed for the site and they stopped the yacht at a place opposite the central beach of Sozopol.
Border police found 32 illegal immigrants onboard the vessel, none of whom had identification documents.
31 of them said they were Afghanistan nationals and one claimed to be an Iranian national.
They were found to possess documents issued by the Turkish police with different validity periods for their stay on Turkish territory.
The illegal passengers said they had boarded the yacht early on Sunday in the Karaburun area near Istanbul.
They said they had been collected from different spots across Turkey and they had had to be transported to Romania in exchange for payments of EUR 2500 – 6000 per person.
The captain of the yacht, a 39-year-old man, presented to border police a copy of a Romanian ID card.
The illegal immigrants and the captain were arrested and the vessel was taken to the port.
The authorities opened pre-trial proceedings into the matter.
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