Arrest could mean police on trail of people-smuggling ring through north

Police believe they are on the trail of a ring that smuggles Somalis from the north to the government controlled areas after they arrested a Palestinian man on Wednesday night.

According to state broadcaster CyBC, the man, who was wanted by the police since 2008, was arrested at around 8pm when the car he was driving was stopped by police near Akaki. Inside the car were four Somalis, believed to have crossed from the north though the buffer zone near Peristerona.

The Palestinian appears to have resided in the government controlled areas, as his vehicle had  registration plates of the Republic of Cyprus. Over the past two weeks, it is estimated that around 100 Somalis crossed illegally from the north.

It is believed that the Somalis arrived on the island through Turkey as, Turkey and Somalia have reached an agreement whereby, their nationals can travel from one country to another without visas, CyBC said.

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