During the last months, greek authorities accused many rescue workers from the Emergency Response Centre International (ERCI) of crimes such as human trafficking, smuggling and even espionage.

On August 2018 the Greek authorities arrested Sara Mardini for allegedly being part of a criminal organisation. Despite he fact that they have no concrete proof against her rather than the fact that she was part of many rescue operations. Moreover, her lawyer maintains that Sara was not in Greece during the incidents detailed in the Prosecutor’s arguments. However, according to Greek laws they can be held in pre-trial detention for up to 18 months.

Sara Mardini is not the only one that are is prosecuted, ERCI field director Nassos Karakitsos and the volunteer Sean Binder are also accused as they allegedly  facilitated illegal entry of aliens as part of an organised illegal immigration network.

Currently, the Greek authorities mentioned that they are investigating over 30 individuals in connection to the case, including allegations of human trafficking, money laundering, spying and counterfeiting, among others.

SAR case number: N.A

Date of SAR (UTC): 21/08/2018

Vessels

Type of migrant boat(s): N.A

Number of people on board per boat: N.A

Other vessels in the vicinity (e.g. unidentified / cargo / aircrafts): N.A

Location

Region of Mediterranean: Central Mediterranean