A boat carrying 48 migrants from Tunisia near the Portuguese Navy Oceanic Patrol Vessel 'Viana do Castelo' off the coast of Pozzallo, Sicily, Italy | Photo: EPA/JOSE SENA GOULAO
A boat carrying 48 migrants from Tunisia near the Portuguese Navy Oceanic Patrol Vessel 'Viana do Castelo' off the coast of Pozzallo, Sicily, Italy | Photo: EPA/JOSE SENA GOULAO

Tunisian authorities in recent days have stopped various attempts by migrants to illegally depart for Europe. During their operations, the authorities also seized cash linked to criminal activity.

Tunisian authorities are continuing their efforts to fight emigration towards Europe, with various operations in recent days resulting in dozens of people being intercepted.


In one operation, the Tunisian Coast Guard in Zahruni arrested nine young people from Tunis who were trying to reach the Kerkennah Islands by car to then participate in an illegal act of migration, the interior ministry said in a statement. The driver of the vehicle is accused of having organized the failed crossing attempt, along with other accomplices. Authorities also seized 22,000 Tunisian dinars in cash (about 7,000 euros) as well as the car. 

In a separate incident in the governorates of Tunis and Ariana, authorities prevented another departure, seizing three motorcycles, three boat motors, and a supply of fuel, while stopping three citizens from departing from Tunisian soil.

The Tunisian National Guard also stopped 13 citizens travelling in two cars in Raqqada, in the Kairouan Governorate, who were trying to reach departure points in the Madhia Governorate. Authorities also seized 5,000 Tunisian dinars in cash as week as the two vehicles. A criminal investigation has been opened into the case. 

The Tunisian National Guard meanwhile also intercepted four citizens in the Sfax Governorate, who are suspected of participating in an illegal emigration operation. Authorities seized 200 euros and 380 dinars in cash from them.

On June 3 in Madhia, the Tunisian National Guard's research and investigation division also seized 391,000 Tunisian dinars in cash (about 122,000 euros), which were hidden by a suspected human trafficker arrested last Monday, National Guard spokesman Khaled Ben Slama told the TAP news agency. The money was seized during an operation to arrest the suspect's three alleged accomplices. 

Hundreds of thousands seized in cash

A total of 275,000 dinars had been previously seized in similar operation, bringing the overall total to 666,000 dinars. 

During the operation, officers found the cash hidden under a pile of manure next to the suspect's house. The alleged trafficker admitted during questioning that he had received between 3,000 and 4,500 dinars from each migrant candidate to assist them in their crossing to Europe 
 

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