UK bases on Cyprus boost fight against migrant traffickers

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PERGAMOS, Cyprus (AP) — Authorities at a British military base on Cyprus have hired 50% more customs officers and procured detection equipment to better thwart illegal immigration from the breakaway north of the ethnically split island. There’s a rising trend in migrant arrivals over the last three years. In 2018, authorities on the base located 17 people trying to cross in six instances. That jumped to 33 people in 16 crossing attempts a year later, while while last year 67 people were intercepted in nine attempted crossings. A base customs official told The Associated Press that the migrants are usually intercepted in groups of 10 to 20 at an average rate of once a month. The overwhelming majority now are Syrian men.

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