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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Man Charged With Organizing Illegal Boat Crossings From Africa to Europe

The U.K.’s National Crime Agency (NCA) officers have charged a man with people smuggling offenses as part of an international investigation into an organized crime network moving migrants across the Mediterranean from North Africa into Europe.

40-year-old Egyptian national Ahmed Ramadan Mohamad Eibd, of Isleworth, was arrested by the NCA on June 21, following an operation which also involved Italian prosecutors, coast guard and Guardia di Finanza.

Eibd is accused of organizing a number of illegal boat crossings from Libya to Italy – each involving hundreds of migrants – from his home in the U.K.

NCA investigators suspect he was working with people smuggling networks in north Africa to organize boats to bring over hundreds of migrants at a time, and was maintaining communication with criminal associates during the crossings.

A crossing last October saw more than 640 migrants rescued by the Italian authorities after they attempted to cross in a wooden boat from Libya. It was taken into port in Sicily. In another, 265 migrants were rescued by the Italian coast guard from a 20-meter fishing boat found adrift in the Mediterranean in early December. The boat had left Benghazi in Libya. And in April this year two further search and rescue operations were mounted following distress calls to the coast guard – in each case more than 600 migrants were on board each boat.

Read more at the National Crime Agency

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