Egyptian man arrested in London on suspicion of smuggling of migrants into Italy

AFP , Ahram Online , Thursday 22 Jun 2023

An Egyptian man suspected of organising the smuggling of thousands of people aboard "death traps" from North Africa into Italy has been arrested in London, British police said on Thursday.

The Egyptian suspect arrested on Thursday in London on suspicion of masterminding the smuggling of thousands of people across the Mediterranean from North Africa into Italy. Photo : UK"s National Crime Agency


The 40-year-old Egyptian man was detained in west London near Heathrow Airport on Wednesday, the National Crime Agency (NCA) said, after an investigation involving Italian police.

The NCA has not released yet the details involving the identity of the Egyptian man.

The NCA said the man in London was linked to a number of illegal Mediterranean crossings in the past year, including from Libya, and was working from a UK base with criminal associates.

Three of the crossings required rescues by the Italian coastguard for vessels in distress, each of which was carrying more than 600 people, the UK agency said.

"The type of boats organised crime groups use for crossings are death traps, and sadly many people have died after incidents in the Mediterranean, which demonstrates the level of danger," senior NCA officer Darren Barr said.

"We will continue to share intelligence and take action with partners to prevent crossings and arrest people smugglers here and overseas," he said.

The arrest comes after nine Egyptians were arrested in Greece earlier this week in connection with a Mediterranean migrant boat disaster that killed at least 82 people with many others presumed dead at sea.

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