An airport official confirmed on Sunday that over 230 Egyptians had been repatriated.
  
The would-be-immigrants arrived at Cairo airport overnight aboard a special chartered plane.

Several told journalists that security forces had arrested them while preparing to board a boat for Italy along the northern Libyan coast.

Expensive failure
  
Most said they paid around $1600 each to an Egyptian and a Libyan who had promised to take them to Italy.
  
On 14 October, some 129 Egyptians were deported from Libya for the same reasons.

Some of those repatriated complained of ill-treatment during their detention.
  
Italy has for years accused Libya of being a staging area for illegal immigration.
  
Over 200 people drowned trying to enter Italy illegally in June, a tragedy that led Rome and Tripoli to sign a cooperation agreement aimed at fighting the problem of illegal immigration.