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Mafias exploit Lebanese to smuggle them into Europe

Migrants use an inflatable boat to reach Greek side of Evros River, in Edirne, Turkey on 28 February 2020 [Onur Çoban/Anadolu Agency]
Migrants use an inflatable boat to reach Greek side of Evros River, in Edirne, Turkey on 28 February 2020 [Onur Çoban/Anadolu Agency]

Mafias are exploiting the Lebanese people to smuggle them into Europe, Lebanon's consul in Turkey, Mazen Kabbara, warned yesterday.

"The Lebanese are at risk of mafias that exploit them under the pretext of smuggling them into Europe, and then leave them stranded on Turkish soil or on Greek or Bulgarian borders after taking all their money," Kabbara was quoted by official National News Agency as saying.

He pointed out that the abandoned citizens were being "imprisoned for lack of identity papers," adding that they were left in a "difficult situation without money or prospects for the future."

"We, at the Lebanese consulate, are helping these people, but assistance is limited to securing their return to their country," the diplomat said, noting that the increasing number of Lebanese people being deceived was "alarming.".

Kabbara called on local authorities "to raise awareness and vigilance through the media."

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