Greek coast guard authorities on Tuesday announced that 9,609 would-be asylum seekers and undocumented migrants landed on a handful of eastern Aegean isles in October 2019, in 253 separate landings.
Twenty-eight individuals were arrested on migrant smuggling charges and 53 vessels, mostly dilapidated boats and flimsy inflatable craft, were seized after the landings.
The figure marks the highest monthly number of illegal entries of third country nationals into the country for 2019, corroborating a view that the migrant/refugee crisis targeting Greece, which first emerged in 2015, is reigniting.
Practically all of the third country nationals illegally entering the country disembarked from the opposite western Turkish coast, as Turkey continues to serve as an "mustering point" for third country nationals - ranging from sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East to south Asia - attempting to enter Greece, in a bid to reach other preferred destinations in western and northern Europe.
Additionally, 117 foreign nationals attempted to depart Greece illegally, or with forged travel documents, mainly by sea. A total of 110 incidents were recorded, with 25 alleged people smugglers arrested.