Italy shipwreck: Migrants paid 8K euros each

Crotone, Italy –

Rescuers pulled more bodies from the sea on Tuesday, raising the death toll from Italy’s latest migration tragedy to 65. To Italy.

Authorities postponed a scheduled viewing of the coffin to allow time to confirm the body’s identity. This is because desperate relatives and friends have arrived in the Calabrian city of Crotone in hopes of finding their loved ones. Some of them are from Afghanistan.

“I’m looking for my aunt and her three children,” Aladdin Mohibzada said, adding that he had driven 25 hours from Germany to arrive at a makeshift morgue set up at a sports stadium. . He confirmed that his aunt and two children had died, but the five-year-old survived and is being cared for at a center for minors.

“We are looking into the possibility of sending the bodies here to Afghanistan,” he told the Associated Press outside the morgue. But he complained of a lack of information as authorities rushed to deal with the disaster.

At least 65 people, including 14 minors, died early Sunday when an overcrowded wooden boat crashed into shallow water 100 meters from Kutro’s shore and broke apart in rough seas early Sunday. Eighty people survived, but more are believed to have died, as survivors indicated the boat carried about 170 people when it left Izmir, Turkey, last week.

Aid groups on the ground said many of the passengers came from Afghanistan, including whole families, as well as from Pakistan, Syria and Iraq. Rescuers pulled two of his bodies from the sea on Tuesday, bringing the death toll to 65 of him, police said.

Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has sent a letter to European leaders demanding swift action on the continent’s long-standing migration problem and saying migrants must stop risking their lives in dangerous sea crossings. claimed.

“The point is, the more people leave, the more people are at risk of dying,” she told RAI state television late Monday.

Crotone prosecutor Giuseppe Capoccia confirmed investigators had identified three suspected smugglers, one Turkish and two Pakistanis. A second Turk is believed to have escaped the wreck or died.

In a statement, Italian border police said the organizers of the crossing charged €8,000 (approximately US$8,500) each for the “death voyage.”

Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi countered suggestions that rescues were delayed or affected by government policies discouraging aid groups from staying at sea to rescue migrants.

EU border agency Frontex said the aircraft spotted the boat off Crotone at 10:26 pm on Saturday and alerted Italian authorities. Italy sent her two patrol boats, but they turned back due to bad weather.

Piantedosi told a parliamentary committee that the ship ran aground and fell apart around 5 am on Sunday.

“There were no delays,” Piantedosi told Corriere della Sera. “Everything possible was done in absolutely forbidden sea conditions.”

The Italian Coast Guard issued a statement on Tuesday, saying Frontex said the migrant boat was “sailing normally” and only one person was visible on deck.

It added that an Italian border police ship “already active at sea” had set out to intercept the migrant ship.

“At approximately 4:30 a.m., the Coast Guard received some indications from a telephone call from a land-based subject that the boat was in danger a few meters from shore,” the statement said.

At that point, a Carabinieri police boat alerted by border police “informed the Coast Guard about the wreck”.

In contrast to similar cases of wrecked migrant ships, the Coast Guard “has never received any telephone instructions from migrants on board,” the statement said.

On rare occasions, migrants on board wrecked ships contact the alarm phone, a humanitarian hotline that relays signs of boats in trouble in the Mediterranean to maritime authorities.

Meloni’s right-wing government, which won a landslide victory in last year’s general election, is focused on complicating multiple rescue operations in the central Mediterranean by humanitarian aid ships, citing promises to crack down on immigration, and the northern coast of Italy. Allocate ports of disembarkation along This means that after the immigrants have been safely landed, it will take some time for the ship to return to sea.

But aid groups’ rescue vessels are not normally active in the area of ​​Sunday’s wreck off Calabria in the Ionian Sea. Rather, aid groups tend to operate in the central Mediterranean, rescuing migrants departing from Libya and Tunisia.

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