Tunisia stopped over 75,000 migrants from reaching Italy, 12 people arrested

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – Tunisia in 2023 intercepted more than 75,000 illegal migrants while they were attempting to enter Europe via the Mediterranean Sea route to Italy. This is more than double the number in 2022, during which more than 35,000 undocumented immigrants were arrested while sailing to Italy off Tunisian coasts, said the report, citing Tunisia’s National Guard spokesman Houcemeddine Jbabli. Meanwhile, the Italian police arrested 12 suspected human traffickers for allegedly organising high-speed transfers for at least 73 illegal migrants from Tunisia to Europe. Expert pilots operated the speed boats crossing from Tunisia to Marsala in Sicily between June and September last year. The traffickers transferred relatively small groups of up to 20 people on each of four trips, charging fees of up to 6,000 euros per person. Six Tunisians and six Italians were detained as part of an investigation coordinated by European police body Europol and the Italian anti-mafia police unit. The investigators identified a Tunisian former police officer as the head of the trafficking organisation. Over the past several months, Tunisian security has intensified the crackdown upon waves of illegal immigration destined for the Italian island of Lampedusa, extending relevant operations from the southeastern province of Sfax to other provinces. (ITALPRESS).

Foto: Agenzia Fotogramma

Source: medNews