Port authorities on the Greek island of Kos, located in the Dodecanese, arrested two foreign human traffickers after a coast guard vessel pursued a speedboat carrying irregular migrants and refugees late Saturday night in the sea of Agia Eirini off the island’s coast.

The two traffickers had managed to disembark the migrants and refugees on a nearby beach before Greek coast officers chased and eventually neutralized the suspects.

The chase started when the Greek coast guard boat, conducting a scheduled sea patrol, spotted the suspect speedboat in the sea area of Agia Irini, Kos, which had disembarked several foreigners on a nearby beach. After a brief chase, the crew of the Hellenic Coast Guard succeeded in cornering the boat forcing the suspects to surrender. The two speedboat operators, both foreign nationals, were apprehended and transported to the port of Kos.

The rising number of irregular migrants and refugees crossing into Greek territorial waters is placing growing pressure on Greek law enforcement units in the Aegean Sea, who, in collaboration with FRONTEX crews –  the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, supporting EU Member States and Schengen-associated countries in the management of the EU’s external borders and the fight against cross-border crime, are making efforts to curb the influx.