Cyprus hub for Frontex migrant returns

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Police announced it returned 23 third country nationals who were illegally in Cyprus as part of a coordinated joint forced return operation organised by EU border agency FRONTEX.

A total of 67 third country nationals were repatriated during an operation which also involved another eight countries Greece, Romania, Italy, the Czech Republic, France, Malta, Spain and Sweden.

Cyprus was chosen for the first time as the hub of the FRONTEX operation, with officers from other countries arriving where they boarded the main aircraft and departed for the mission’s final destination.

The mission was accompanied by 34 members of the police, and 13 FRONTEX Return Escort and Support Officers.

Police also said that in a second repatriation operation conducted on Tuesday, eight other nationals of the same third country who were illegally in Cyprus were returned.

Some 1,680 third country nationals have been repatriated through voluntary and forced return procedures since the beginning of the year.