[QODLink]
Europe

'Mother ship' traffickers arrested off Libya

Italian navy says 16 human traffickers aboard so-called "mother ship" were arrested in international waters off Libya.

Last updated: 10 Nov 2013 16:09
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Italian navy rescued hundred seventy six Syrian migrants on Saturday [FILE: Reuters]

The Italian navy has arrested 16 human traffickers aboard a so-called "mother ship" in international waters off Libya.

The ship was located some 500 kilometres southeast of Sicily, near Libya, the navy said on Sunday.

Submarine surveillance ahead of Saturday's raid was "of particular importance, notably for gathering proof" against the traffickers, the navy said in a statement.

The fishing boat served as a staging area from which the traffickers dispatched their clients -- Syrian migrants seeking asylum or a better life --  aboard smaller, often rickety vessels to destinations in southern Europe.

The boat had been under surveillance, including by drones, hi-tech radars, night-vision equipment and the submarine, under stepped-up operations launched after two shipwrecks last month claimed some 500 lives.

On Saturday, the navy rescued 176 Syrian migrants from one of the boats dispatched by the "mother ship", it said.

The navy said the "mother ship" itself had sunk after it took on water while being towed towards an Italian port.

163

Source:
AFP
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.