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.