Sign In  |  Register  |  About Menlo Park  |  Contact Us

Menlo Park, CA
September 01, 2020 1:28pm
7-Day Forecast | Traffic
  • Search Hotels in Menlo Park

  • ROOMS:

Italy cracks down on alleged high-speed migrant trafficking ring

In Italy, police sent out 18 arrest warrants for an alleged migrant-trafficking route on high-speed boats between between Tunisia's coast and Sicilian ports.

Italian police issued 18 arrest warrants Thursday for Italians and Tunisians accused of operating a migrant-trafficking route on high-speed boats between Tunisia's coast and Sicilian ports.

The suspects are alleged to have demanded payment of $3,100-$5,200 in cash per person, packed the boats with 10 to 30 passengers at a time, and pocketed 30,000-70,000 euros for each four-hour journey, police said in a statement.

The investigation was launched in February 2019 after a fisherman in Sicily's port of Gela noticed a 10-meter fiber glassĀ boat with two 200-horsepower motors. Investigators discovered the boat had been stolen 10 days previously in Catania, Sicily.

Arrest warrants were issued for 11 Tunisians and seven Italians. They face charges of illegal cross-border trafficking of more than five people, with the aggravating circumstance of inhuman treatment and endangering the lives of migrants and committing crimes for profit.


A Tunisian couple already jailed on a people-trafficking conviction were identified as the presumed masterminds of the scheme.

Two Tunisians based in Sicily were accused of having managed the money, while five Italians allegedly organized housing for the migrants and transfer of the traffickers to and from ports.

The warrants also target four other alleged traffickers, one Italian and three Tunisians, and four Tunisians who made connections with the migrants in northern Africa.

Also sought is the owner of a small farm with a private airfield that allegedly functioned as a base for the operation. The farmer was accused of providing employment documents for some of the Tunisian operatives to legitimize their presence in Italy.

While the new Italian government has cracked down on humanitarian rescue ships that pick up migrants departing Libya in the central Mediterranean Sea, the majority of migrants arriving in Italy travel along routes from Tunisia.

Data & News supplied by
Stock quotes supplied by Barchart
Quotes delayed at least 20 minutes.
By accessing this page, you agree to the following
Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.
Copyright © 2010-2020 & California Media Partners, LLC. All rights reserved.