Egypt Independent

30 undocumented migrants found dead at sea

Security forces have discovered the corpses of 30 undocumented migrants in the Mediterranean Sea, north of Alexandria.

Preliminary reports said that young men from the governorates of Kafr al-Sheikh, Gharbiya, Damietta and Alexandria drowned while trying to emigrate from Alexandria to Italy. The migrants were reportedly on board a fishing vessel for a week before it sank.

Prior to the discovery, Brigadier General Abdallah Saad Khalil received a phone call from Mohamed Sabry Aleem, a resident in Beheira, telling Khalil that Aleem's brother Mahmoud and a group of young people had boarded a fishing vessel at San Stefano Port in Alexandria, heading to Italy.

He went on to tell Khalil that Mahmoud had called him three days later and told him the boat was disabled in an unknown location. Khalil then informed marine border guards, who eventually found the drowned vessel.

Security sources have arrested the owner of the vessel who planned the trip. Investigations revealed that he took LE50,000 from each passenger in exchange for organizing the trip, and that he received a phone call from one of the men on board  the vessel before it sank, but did not inform the authorities.

The lack of security presence at points of departure for undocumented emigrants at  Egypt's northern coast has led to increased smuggling and migration in the last few months.

Translated from the Arabic Edition