(The Local)People smugglers 'earn up to €80,000' each

From: Semere Asmelash <semereasmelash_at_ymail.com_at_dehai.org>
Date: Mon, 20 Apr 2015 15:09:57 +0000 (UTC)


People smugglers 'earn up to €80,000' each

Published: 20 Apr 2015 12:21 GMT+02:00

Italian police have arrested 24 alleged people smugglers, who are said to be part of an international network that operates across Italy.

The arrests were made in Palermo early on Monday as more than 700 people were feared to have died in the latest migrant disaster in the Mediterranean, Corriere reported.

Italy launched a wide-scale probe into the human trafficking network after the first major migrant boat tragedy off Lampedusa in October 2013, in which 366 people died.

Police said the network operated out of Milan, Rome, Bari and Catania, in cooperation with others in Eritrea, Sudan, Somalia and Libya.

Those involved were caught on wiretap bragging about earning “up to €80,000” each for a boat with 200 people crammed on board, Corriere reported.

Among those arrested was an Ethiopian citizen said to have been one of the main traffickers responsible for the ship that sunk in the October 2013.

He was overheard saying in a wiretapped conversation: “We do a dirty job, we can’t help and listen to everyone. They want to leave and we make it happen.”

Police described him, and another trafficker arrested, as “the most important human traffickers on the so-called Libyan route”.

The network reportedly helped people flee migrant centres as well as get illegal Italian residency, before transferring them to countries in northern Europe, including Germany, Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands.

The latest disaster comes after a week in which two other migrant shipwrecks left an estimated 450 people dead.

Some 11,000 migrants have been rescued since the middle of last week and current trends suggest last year's total of 170,000 landing in Italy is likely to be exceeded in 2015.
Received on Mon Apr 20 2015 - 11:10:13 EDT

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