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12° Nicosia,
25 July, 2024
 
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Family throws 6-year-old overboard on journey to Cyprus

Heartbreaking revelation emerges as authorities rescue 36 migrants facing treacherous conditions in the Mediterranean.

Newsroom

In a heart-wrenching incident, a 6-year-old child lost his life during a treacherous voyage to Cyprus, prompting an investigation by the authorities. The police revealed that the child's body was allegedly thrown into the sea by his family amidst dire conditions on their boat.

Police spokesman Christos Andreou recounted the distressing episode, stating that on February 29, the Port and Maritime Police radar detected a vessel 58 nautical miles off Larnaca. The boat, carrying 36 irregular migrants, was found adrift without proper navigation and battling harsh weather conditions. Through significant efforts, the Port and Maritime Police managed to rescue the migrants and bring them safely ashore.

During the inspection of the migrants' documents, it was discovered that a family's paperwork indicated the presence of four children, yet only three were found on the boat. When questioned about the missing child, the father informed the police that two days before the boat was located, their 6-year-old child had tragically passed away due to starvation and suffering. The father claimed that, in desperation, they had to discard the child's body overboard.

Additional accounts from fellow migrants revealed that three others had abandoned the boat with makeshift structures and swam ashore to seek help. Despite extensive search efforts by the Search and Rescue Coordination Centre, the identities of these three individuals remain unknown.

Two survivors from the ill-fated journey are currently receiving treatment at Nicosia General Hospital. One is in critical condition due to severe dehydration after resorting to drinking seawater when their freshwater supply was exhausted.

All migrants, after detailed documentation, were transferred to the Pournara First Reception Centre in Kokkinotrimithia. Meanwhile, a 22-year-old individual, identified as the boat's navigator, was arrested for assisting migrants in unlawfully entering the Republic of Cyprus.

Further investigations and testimonies resulted in the re-arrest of the 22-year-old on charges including manslaughter and causing death by negligence. The Larnaca District Court issued an eight-day detention order against him, marking a grim chapter in the unfolding tragedy.

TAGS
Cyprus  |  migration  |  crime

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