Cypriot police have arrested four individuals on human smuggling charges after a number of people including a woman and two children were apprehended in the buffer zone during an attempt to cross from north to south.
According to an official police report, a number of foreign nationals were spotted by law enforcement immigration officers on Monday night near the buffer zone between Lymbia and Athienou.
The operation, which was based on information assessed by law enforcement, took place between 8pm and 10pm, when officers saw individuals walking from north to south and getting into two vehicles, which were then flagged down for inspection.
The four suspects were arrested on human smuggling charges, while the six Afghanis and the man from Pakistan were transported to Pournara reception center
Seven people were found in the first vehicle according to police, including the 28-year-old male driver as well as six others believed to have arrived recently from Afghanistan, including three young adult males, a young woman, and two young children.
In the second vehicle police found four people, including the 25-year-old male driver, another 35-year-old male, a 31-year-old female, as well as a young man from Pakistan who appeared to have reached Cyprus in the north days earlier before attempting to cross south.
Police did not reveal the nationality of the four people arrested but they were defined as the two drivers, as well as the 35-year-old man and 31-year-old woman, all of whom were facing multiple charges related to human smuggling, harboring illegal aliens, as well as aiding and abetting undocumented persons with unlawful intent such as gaining illegal entry and illegal stay in the Republic of Cyprus.
The six Afghanis and the man from Pakistan were all transported to Pournara reception center in Kokkinotrimithia, rural Nicosia, while officers from Pera Chorio police station were investigating the case.