archive photo shows about 15 migrants aboard a small boat intercepted by finance police off the southern coast of Sardinia. ANSA/FINANCE POLICE PRESS OFFICE/CAGLIARI AIR AND NAVAL GROUP
archive photo shows about 15 migrants aboard a small boat intercepted by finance police off the southern coast of Sardinia. ANSA/FINANCE POLICE PRESS OFFICE/CAGLIARI AIR AND NAVAL GROUP

The latest migrant arrivals in Italy have involved smaller, more modest boats and fewer passengers, in an effort to avoid being detected at sea.

In two different migrant arrivals over the past four days in Italy, smaller boats have been used with a reduced passenger load, in an attempt to evade detection by authorities at sea. At the weekend, 20 Tunisians arrived on the island of Lampedusa aboard a modest wooden boat. They reached the port on their own and were then taken to the migrant hotspot on the island. 


In a similar event last Monday, eight Tunisians arrived on Lampedusa on a six-meter fiberglass boat. They docked at port and were headed for the city center when they were intercepted by Carabinieri police. 

Change in arrival strategy also seen in Sicily 

In recent days near Syracuse, on the island of Sicily, a similar change in arrival strategy has also been employed by migrants. A few days ago, Carabinieri and police intercepted 15 migrants on the beach of Fontane Bianche and 10 in Marchesa di Cassibile. Shortly after that, near Punta del Cane, a sailboat was found that had been used to reach the coast. According to witness accounts gathered by the Syracuse Prosecutor's Office interforce group against clandestine immigration, the migrants left Izmir, Turkey, seven days ago and paid 5,000 euros each for the crossing to Sicily. 

Also a few days ago, 40 migrants, most likely all Iraqis, were intercepted at Fontane Bianche. They, too, had reached the coast after departing from Turkey on a sailboat. In recent weeks, this route has been increasingly used by human traffickers, the majority of whom are Ukrainian and Russian. Meanwhile, other migrants were intercepted by the Cagliari finance police along the southern coasts of Sardinia aboard a small boat. 

Aquarius back at sea 

Meanwhile, a few days ago, news came that the migrant search and rescue vessel Aquarius, Operated by the NGO SOS Mediterranee and managed in partnership with Doctors Without Borders (MSF), is back at sea, two and a half years after it first set sail from the port of Marseilles. The NGO said the ship will not disembark anyone in a Libyan port until Libya is considered a safe place.
 

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