The Latest: Croatia holds 3 Brits over migrant smuggling


A woman disembarks from the Asso Trenta ship, docked in the port of Pozzallo, Italy, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019. An Italian offshore supply vessel has brought 151 migrants to Sicily after rescuing them in waters off Libya a day earlier. (Francesco Ruta/ANSA via AP)

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ROME (AP) — The Latest on Europe’s migrant crisis (all times local):

6:50 p.m.

Police in Croatia have detained three British citizens for allegedly smuggling migrants, saying one of the men also tried to run over a Croatian police officer.

A statement says police on Saturday approached a 31-year-old British man in a parked car near Slovenia’s border when he suddenly sped toward one of the officers who jumped aside to avoid being hit.

The man was arrested shortly after. Police said Monday he was linked to two other British citizens who also on Saturday night tried to transport over the border a number of foreign citizens in a van.

In neighboring Slovenia, police say they have apprehended nine people from various countries for people smuggling and recorded a total of 150 attempted illegal border crossings since last Wednesday.


6:30 p.m.

Cyprus police say 131 Syrian migrants have reached the east Mediterranean island nation aboard a boat.

Cypriot authorities tracked the migrants’ 20-meter (65-foot) craft early Monday off the island’s northwestern coastline.

A marine police vessel was dispatched to escort it to a harbor where the 118 men, nine minors and four women disembarked.

The migrants will be taken to a reception center on the capital Nicosia’s outskirts.

Cyprus’ northern coastline is at its closest around 40 miles (65 kilometers) from Turkey’s southern coast.

Cypriot officials say most migrants arriving on Cyprus depart from Turkey.


6:15 p.m.

The Greek government’s decision to transfer migrants from the overcrowded eastern Aegean islands to the mainland has been met with some resistance.

Local residents, in two instances, tried unsuccessfully to prevent migrants from being housed in hotels in northern Greece.

An anti-migrant march in the northern city of Thessaloniki on Sunday drew just 100 extreme rightists while a counter-demonstration of anarchists drew a slightly larger crowd.

Migrants who had arrived by military transport from the island of Lesbos to a port near Athens on Saturday had to wait hours in buses in order to be able to finally sleep at designated hotels whose owners have agreed to lodge the migrants.

The migrants had been driven in buses for a distance of more than 500 kilometers (310 miles) to reach their destinations in northern Greece.


5:40 p.m.

A court in North Macedonia has ordered a 30-day pre-trial custody for three Pakistani nationals, suspected of human trafficking and cruelty to migrants.

The Skopje’s prosecutor office announced Sunday they have opened a probe against three Pakistanis and one Macedonian national for organizing the illegal transfer of migrants and abusing them. The Macedonian national, owner of the house, was placed under house arrest.

Police raided a house in the village of Vaksince, near the northern border with Serbia, on Friday and found 12 migrants from India, Pakistan and Afghanistan, including two minors. They acted on a tip from Serbian police who had been alerted by a friend of the migrants that they were being beaten and asked to pay 1,300 euros ($1,450) each to the smugglers for transfer across the border.


1:20 p.m.

An Italian offshore supply vessel has brought 151 migrants to Sicily after rescuing them in waters off Libya a day earlier.

The Asso Trenta docked Sunday at Pozzallo with the migrants. It wasn’t immediately known if they would stay in Italy or be distributed among other European Union countries.

Hours earlier, a German charity’s rescue boat, Alan Kurdi, had disembarked 88 migrants at Taranto on the Italian mainland. Under an EU-brokered deal, 67 of them will go to four other countries, while the others will stay in Italy.

A Taranto official, Gabriella Ficocelli, told the Italian news agency ANSA the migrants included five unaccompanied minors who were “tired and tried by the voyage.” They disembarked eight days after being rescue in the Mediterranean Sea from Libyan-based traffickers’ unseaworthy vessels.

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