BEIRUT, Dec. 31 (Xinhua) -- Lebanese General Security Forces announced on Monday that it thwarted a day earlier an attempt to smuggle 23 Syrian refugees by sea to Cyprus, local media reported.
The Syrian refugees included 10 men, 4 women and 9 children, according to the National News Agency.
The refugees said that they were escaping by a boat that does not belong to them. They were later referred to judicial authorities for further investigations and other legal procedures.
This is not the first time that Lebanon's security forces stop such an operation.
On Nov. 7, Lebanon's Internal Security Forces thwarted another smuggling operation of Syrian refugees through the port of Tripoli to Cyprus.
Cyprus has become the destination of maritime smuggling from Lebanon for Syrian refugees to move to other European countries.