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22-01-2020 12:14 | Read 2214 times

They took our money and left us to die

A BOATLOAD of Syrian refuges left “to die” pleaded not to be sent back to their country after they were rescued by the TRNC Coastguard on Tuesday.

They took our money and left us to die

The group, all men aged 20 to 40, were brought ashore after they were spotted off the Yeşilırmak coast, to the west of the TRNC.

The vessel’s captain, Erdal Özden, was hauled before Güzelyurt District Court on Wednesday, along with the 33 refugees.

Mr Özden said he had agreed to smuggle the men from Mersin, in Turkey, to South Cyprus for a fee of 15,000TL each, 1,000TL of which was paid “up front”, the court was told.

He had travelled to Mersin from İstanbul via Adana, the court heard.

Lefke police officer Erdem Çevikdal told the court the 33 Syrian refugees had been seen at about 4pm, some 600m out to sea from Volkan Tepe, on an 11m-long unregistered boat named Sultanım-1.

Mr Özden will cooperate with the police investigation into the matter, it was reported.

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