Three people believed to be the traffickers who put up to 200 migrants on a wooden boat that ran aground have been arrested by Italian authorities. They died in the wreck at least 64 immigrants.
Police officer Alberto Lipolis stated that one Turkish and two Pakistanis they put the migrants on the boat, which left Turkey for Italy, despite bad weather. They were identified by the survivors as “the main culprits of the tragedy”. “According to the preliminary investigations, they are alleged to they asked each of the migrants about 8,000 euros for the deadly journey”, Lipolis pointed out. “All three have been arrested.”
The boat ran aground and broke up early Sunday in the area of Stecato di Cutro, a seaside resort on Calabria’s eastern coast, as gale-force winds prevailed. Rescuers recovered the body of another man today, bringing the death toll to 64. among them about 14 children. There are 80 survivors from the wreck, who have stated that 150 to 200 people were on board the boat.
“We will continue the search (…) until we are sure we have found everyone,” said Rocco Martato, a member of the fire brigade’s diving team.
Meloni: “The more people leave, the more people are at risk of dying”
The vessel left Izmir in western Turkey sometime late last week. The rescuers stated that the most of the migrants on board were from Afghanistan, while others were from Iran, Somalia and Syria. Pakistan’s foreign ministry has announced that 20 Pakistani nationals were on board, of which 16 were rescued.
The tragedy has reignited the debate on immigration in Europe and the Italywhere the newly elected right-wing government adopted tough new rules for rescuing migrants at sea, prompting strong reactions from the UN and humanitarian groups.
The Italian Prime Minister Georgia Meloni she said in an interview on Monday that she had sent a letter to EU institutions asking the bloc to take immediate action to stop the departures of ships carrying migrants.
“The more people leave, the more people are at risk of dying,” he told state-run RAI television. “The only way to deal with this seriously, humanely, is to stop the departures,” Meloni added.
Hundreds of thousands of migrants have reached Italy by sea in the past decade. The UN’s Missing Migrants Project has recorded more than 20,000 deaths and disappearances in the central Mediterranean – the world’s deadliest migration route – since 2014, including more than 220 this year already.
Source: News Beast
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