Over 100 Ukrainians detained in Greece for transporting illegal migrants

A total of 120 Ukrainian citizens have been detained in Greece on charges of transporting illegal migrants, and 42 of them have already been convicted, Director of the Consular Service Department of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry Serhiy Pohoreltsev has said.

"Forty-two Ukrainian citizens have currently been convicted for the transportation of illegal migrants. In all, there are 120 citizens who were either convicted, including the 42 whom I mentioned, or are under investigation, that is they were detained, but not convicted yet," he told journalists in Kyiv on Thursday.

Pohoreltsev noted that the convicted Ukrainians had received prison terms from 8 to 25 years.

"The reports that Ukrainians were sentenced to life imprisonment are untrue," he said.

According to him, the problem is systemic, and the number of Ukrainians involved in schemes for transporting migrants is growing.

"The consuls are taking all the necessary measures to protect the rights of our citizens... This includes visits on a permanent basis to those citizens who agreed to provide information about themselves and agreed that the consul would visit them," the diplomat said.

According to Pohoreltsev, the consuls convey hygiene products, warm clothes and also interact with the coast guard so as to have up-to-date information on the progress of the investigation, maintain contacts with penitentiary services.

"There was no such meeting, which would not have been provided by an interpreter or defense team of Ukrainians," Pohoreltsev said.

Over 100 Ukrainians detained in Greece for transporting illegal migrants