Greek police have caught a group of migrants from Syria attempting to fool migration control by posing as a volleyball team from Ukraine.
Ten Syrian refugees were arrested at Athens International Airport over the weekend, police said. In an attempt to fool migration control, they all dressed in identical uniforms, brought a number of similar sports bags, and two volleyball balls.
They also had Ukrainian passports, which were listed as stolen or lost. The Syrians planned on flying to Zurich, Switzerland. From there they wanted to travel to a European Union country but police did not reveal which one.
Despite the elaborate disguise, they were intercepted and detained. The men, aged 20 to 25, are now waiting to be brought to the attorney general’s office.
Over 875,000 migrants from the Middle East arrived in Lesbos, Kos, and other Greek islands during the peak of the EU migration crisis in 2015. The number of arrivals would eventually fall to 56,500 in 2018.
Many refugees ended up in overcrowded camps like the Moria Camp on Lesbos. The UN, human rights groups, and the media repeatedly reported “inadequate” and “inhumane” living conditions in the camp, as well as rampant crime, violence, and rioting.