RESCUED: Italian police carry migrants to safety, leaving their leaky boat to drift – REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi
CAIRO – 28 June 2018: On Thursday, security forces seized a boat and a fishing boat suspected of smuggling illegal migrants abroad near the delta province of Damietta.
According to the Interior Ministry, security forces seized a 23-meter-long boat while on its way to Cyprus, and took charge of a large fishing boat, equipped with a GPS and a Sonar device, that was reportedly heading to Malta and then to Libya.
Investigations revealed that two residents in the said province were engaged in a large-scale illegal activity, wherein they prepare illegal trips to people willing to illegally travel abroad in return for LE 30,000-40,000 per person.
For his part, Khaled Zahran, chairman of the Egyptian Maritime Safety Authority, said that the commission launched extensive investigations into the incident, in coordination with a number of engineers and maritime inspection officers in Damietta.
According to Al-Ahram center for political and strategic studies (ACPSS), about 460,000 Egyptians departed Egypt illegally during the past ten years, 90,000 of whom illegally travelled to Italy.
In May 2016, Minister of Immigration Nabila Makram said that there were about 2,500 Egyptian kids who illegally fled Egypt to Italy, and that some people there force these children to work in drug trafficking and prostitution. Makram also revealed in November 2016 that Egypt ranks first in unlicensed immigration worldwide.
The Guardian reported in 2015 that smugglers in Egypt and Libya use children to lead the ships transferring illegal immigrants to Italy.
Suggesting reasons that encourage illegal immigration, former Youth and Sports Minister Khaled Abdel Aziz said that modern technology has led some youth to see pictures of some European countries, compare them to the Egyptian streets and think they would lead better lives in these countries.
CAIRO - 25 June 2018: Egypt's Police Academy will launch its second training course on illegal immigration for the benefit of African security's calibers; more than 21 African countries, which are suffering from the same phenomenon, will benefit from this training.
Smugglers convince some youth that illegal immigration can improve their life conditions, Abdel Aziz said earlier in June, adding that some families sell some of their assets to grant their sons money to illegally immigrate.
The Egyptian Parliament approved in October the Illegal Immigration and Smuggling Law, which entails tough penalties on whoever assists and/or facilitates a process of illegal immigration. The law was drafted by the Cabinet in 2015 and was sent in June 2016 to the Parliament for discussion.
Parliament's efforts to approve the law came following the boat that capsized off the coast of Rashid in Beheira governorate while heading to Europe, killing dozens of people.