Three men arrested on human trafficking charges

TEHRAN, Mar. 01 (MNA) – Three men have been arrested for allegedly trafficking up to 200 people aboard a wooden boat that smashed apart on rocks off southern Italy killing at least 64 people.

The death toll is feared to exceed 100 people, with survivors claiming that migrants from Somalia, Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan had been on board, Sputnik reported.

Three individuals have been arrested by police in Italy for allegedly engaging in human trafficking as part of an investigation into the confirmed deaths of at least 64 migrants in a recent shipwreck off the country’s southern coast, according to media reports.

As the death toll from Sunday's tragedy is expected to further mount beyond 100, one Turkish man and two Pakistani nationals who navigated the wooden vessel with an estimated 200 migrants from Izmir, Turkey, to Calabria, Italy, during inclement weather conditions have been taken into custody, a police spokesman was cited as saying.

The coast guard recovered another body on the beach at Staccato on February 28, according to a spokeswoman for the fire service, who added that it was still unclear how many migrants had been on the ill-fated vessel.

Previous reports suggested that around 200 people from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria, Iraq, and Iran had been crammed onto the boat that set sail sometime last week. However, the overcrowded vessel, struggling to weather the stormy sea conditions, broke up and sank on February 26.

Frontex border agency reportedly spotted the migrant-carrying vessel as it headed for Italy, but turbulent seas prevented its patrol boats from intercepting it.

According to the testimonies of the shipwreck survivors, “during the night, near the coast, they heard a loud boom, the boat broke and they all fell into the water.”


News Code 197994


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