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6 foreign nationals arrested for Moria fires; Video helped identify one

Six foreign nationals have been arrested as suspects for the fires that destroyed the refugees camp in Moria a week ago.  Five were first arrested and the last member of the group, who was at large, was arrested on Tuesday evening.

Short after the six arrests, a video allegedly shot outside the Moria camps has been circulating on Greek TV stations and news websites.

The video shows several small fires outside the camp. Holding a piece of carton, a man attempts to set fires at different points. According to media information, the man is one of the six arrested to be charged with arson.

Note that the video was posted on Facebook five days ago, on September 10.

“Five young foreign nationals were arrested while another, who has been identified, is still at large,” Citizen Protection Minister Michalis Chrisochoidis said Tuesday noon while paying a visit to the island of Lesvos.

Chrisochoidis congratulated the police officers on Lesvos and noted that “the arrests disprove the scenarios of the extremists,” notes state-run news agency amna.

The Minister did not reveal the nationalities of the suspected arsonists.

Citing local police sources, local media lesvosnews, reports the arrested are of Afghan nationality aged 17-20.

Two 17-year-old unaccompanied Afghans left the island in a group of “unaccompanied minors” who were transferred to the mainland for humanitarian reasons, a day after the fire. One of them appeared on screening material seen by police, the sources said.

After their involvement in the arson was confirmed, the two minors were located and arrested in the structures that hosted them in in Katerini and Thessaloniki, northern Greece.

Along with the two, three 19-year-olds and one 20-year-old were also members of the arsonists group.

Police sources did not reveal to the local news website who was still at large.

KTG understands that the five were arrested on Monday.

The suspects have yet to stand trial.

Authorities may publish the evidence, as some media note  that the ministers for Citizen Protection and Migration have already found them “guilty.”

Last week and after the three fires that destroyed the Moria camp authorities blamed a group of some 30 young Afghan men who allegedly organized the arson via social media and took advantage of the isolation of a group of refugees infected with the coronavirus.

Citing officers dealing with the fire investigation, media reported that “the suspects are all young men who traveled to Greece without their families and had been linked to instances of drug dealing and extortion at the camp..”

The destruction of the Moria camp left some 13,000 people on the streets.

Over the weekend, hundreds of tents were set up in a military firing range near Kara Tepe.

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