9 Egyptian suspects held after Greece migrant boat tragedy: Port source to AFP

AFP , Friday 16 Jun 2023

Nine Egyptians have been arrested on suspicion of being people smugglers after a migrant boat disaster off the coast of Greece claimed at least 78 lives, a port source told AFP Thursday.

Survivors of a shipwreck sit inside a warehouse where are taking shelter at the port in Kalamata tow
Survivors of a shipwreck sit inside a warehouse where are taking shelter at the port in Kalamata town, about 240 kilometers (150miles) southwest of Athens, on Thursday, June 15, 2023. AP

 

Among the detainees is the captain of the overloaded and dilapidated vessel, the source said.

The source said the fishing boat left Egypt empty before taking on the migrants at the Libyan port city of Tobruk and heading towards Italy.

Greek news agency ANA reported that the Egyptians were arrested in the Peloponnese port of Kalamata on suspicion of illegal trafficking of human beings. Kalamata is where survivors of the disaster are being cared for.

The International Organization for Migration has said it fears hundreds of more people drowned in one of the worst tragedies in the Mediterranean for a decade.

Government spokesman Ilias Siakantaris on Wednesday said there were unconfirmed reports that up to 750 people had been on the boat.

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