In an operation that started as early as 5:30 Tuesday morning, Greek police evacuated hundreds of migrants from makeshift camps at two abandoned factories near the the port of Patras. A total of 563 migrants were transferred with buses to state facilities where authorities are to check their documents.
Dozens of police officers entered the camps simultaneously and informed the migrants of their relocation.
380 police officers and 10 squads of police’s special forces participated in the operation.
According to local media, there was no resistance from the migrants’ side.
The migrants have been reportedly transferred to police stations in Athens, those with residence permit will be relocated in facilities outside the Prefecture of Achaia, in Corinth.
Four unaccompanied minors who were in the camps are to be transferred to special facilities for unaccompanied minors.
The evacuation of the camps comes just a week after a big shipping company with ferries to Italy urged authorities to take immediate measures to prevent departure delays. The company reportedly also threatened to have its ferries depart from the port of Igoumenitsa, Epirus, and no longer from Patras.
Hundreds of migrants have been hiding in the abandoned factories for months, until they manage to smuggle themselves on trucks and ferries to Italy. The majority of them are from Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Migrants’ group often brawl against each other, last week a 20-year-old Afghan was shot dead during a fight between rival tribes.
Yesterday, Monday, a migrant was injured as he was trying to get into a ferry. He fell on the iron bars of the port fence and started to bleed, shocking Greek and foreign travelers.