The latest explosive allegation regarding Turkey-based migrant smuggling networks actively funneling third country nationals onto EU territory – especially Greece’s Aegean islands – came on Friday, two days after another deadly shipwreck claimed the lives of several would-be asylum seekers off Lesvos.

According to testimony taken from survivors, and released to the press by Greece’s coast guard, Turkish fishing vessels accompanied the ill-fated and unseaworthy inflatable dinghy from a spot near the resort of Ayvalık, on the Turkish side, until it reached Greek territorial waters.

The reason, again according to the Greek side, was to buffet the vessel from rough seas, as up to 7 and 8 on the Beaufort scale winds were reported on the specific evening.

Once reaching the midway point between the Asia Minor coast and Lesvos, the fishing vessels returned to the Turkish mainland. The migrant craft sank 100 meters from the shores of the Greek island.

Sixteen fatalities have been reported so far, while the number of rescued people was given as 28.

The group is comprised of people from Somalia and possibly from sub-Saharan Africa.

One of the rescued women aboard the migrant boat claimed, while being interviewed on Greek television, that she arrived in Istanbul by plane from Mogadishu, and roughly a day later found herself being loaded aboard the flimsy dinghy. She also said she arrived in Turkey with a visa.

Another sailboat packed with third country nationals, mostly Afghans, crashed into the rocks on the shores of the southeast Aegean Island of Kythira, with 80 rescued in a harrowing operation that even witnessed the use of a crane to lift people grappling a cliffside and rocks.

Greek authorities believe that smugglers, possibly working in unison on both sides of the Aegean, used the rough seas as cover to launch the migrant-laden craft, as they were more difficult to detect.

Another man from the second wreck told Greek state television that the group was headed to Italy, after departing from Turkey, and that the total price demanded by smugglers would reach 9,500 euros, minus 3,000 euros if they made it to their final destination.

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