Coast guard rescues 18 migrants on Vlora coast, arresting motorboat driver

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times February 3, 2020 10:55

Coast guard rescues 18 migrants on Vlora coast, arresting motorboat driver

Story Highlights

  • Local police sources reported the small motorboat put anchor from the Divjaka area to the Port of Durres, while migrants received first aid and were out of danger.

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TIRANA, Feb. 2 – The Albanian and Italian coastguards rescued 18 migrants on Saturday morning and arrested the person driving the motorboat after the latter issued a bad weather alert offshore.

Local police sources reported the small motorboat put anchor from the Divjaka area to the Port of Durres, while migrants received first aid and were out of danger. 

Among the migrants were some women and one child, police sources said.

State police have not yet released official information about the event, but police sources say the detained driver is Renato Cenko from Vlora, the coastal town from where the suspected migrants have also set off. 

The vessel’s destination from preliminary Albanian police investigations turns out to be Italy.

According to preliminary investigations, bad weather problems with turbulent seas and the motorboat’s small capacity have forced the driver to seek help. 

Two days ago, Albanian police stopped one of the two motor boats launched from neighboring Greece towards the Albanian coast in a joint operation with the European border guard Frontex and the Italian coastguard.

The boats were discovered by a Frontex aircraft conducting aerial tracking, with the aim of blocking the navigational vehicles and catching the perpetrators steering the rafts. 

However, according to Albanian police, during the chase, a sailing vessel has managed to return to Greek waters again, while the vehicle stranded on the Albanian coast had three powerful engines. 

Police said the motorboat was abandoned by the crew taking advantage of weather conditions and the darkness of the night, near a place called the “Old Beach” in Vlora. Police said no items other than fuel bins were found on the tire boards.

Vlora has turned into a traffic target not only of narcotics, but also of human beings. 

The blocking of refugee groups in the area earlier this year has sparked police suspicions of trends in organizing refugee traffic by sailing to Italy. 

Refugees enter Albanian territory from the Greek border and intend to use Albania as a temporary point of departure for European countries.

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times February 3, 2020 10:55