Arrival of rescued migrants at the port of Catania, they were on board a fishing boat that had gone adrift, 31 August, 2022 | Photo: ANSAmed
Arrival of rescued migrants at the port of Catania, they were on board a fishing boat that had gone adrift, 31 August, 2022 | Photo: ANSAmed

Italian police stopped and apprehended three Egyptian nationals in Catania, Sicily, on charges of smuggling a boat with 285 migrants on board which arrived in Italy on 31 August.

Three Egyptian nationals (20, 20 and 32 years old) were apprehended on Wednesday (September 14) by the state police in the city of Catania, following the request of the Prosecutor's office, with the charge of smuggling 285 migrants into the country on August 31.

They were stopped by a finance guard patrol boat and a Frontex (the European Border and Coast Guard Agency) patrol.

The three men are now held at the correctional facility of Piazza Lanza in the city of Catania and in the facility of the city of Enna, to enable judicial authorities to conduct their work.

Steering the boat that reached Italy

The migrants, of Egyptian nationality, were rescued the previous night, at approximately 15 miles from the coast of Bovalino (Reggio Calabria) while they were on board a fishing boat that was adrift together with other 215 migrants.

Among them were also Syrian and Afghan nationals, who were disembarked at the port of Messina, Sicily.

According to what has been verified by the police's investigation, they were the ones to steer the boat. They are believed to have also used a knife to maintain order on board.

One of the suspects had already been apprehended on charges of aiding and abetting clandestine migration in June 2014 in Calabria.

 

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