Tripoli, 11 August, 2013:
A group of migrants who paid Libyan fraudsters for an illegal crossing to Europe were dropped on ‘Maltese . . .[restrict]shores’ only to discover they had got no further than the other side of Tripoli.
Some 100 illegal migrants are understood to have set sail from Tajura, the departure point for many trying to reach Europe, according to an official source. The vessel, piloted by a Libyan captain, headed out to sea and sailed all night. The next morning the migrants were set ashore by the Libyan captain of the boat and told they had reached Malta, when in fact they were in Siyahiya, the other side of Tripoli and just 26 km from where they had started.
The migrants have been apprehended by the Illegal Immigration department.
“It is not that surprising that they thought it was Malta, because out at sea during the night, you cannot see your surroundings,” the source explained. Even if migrants do become suspicious, “they have no choice but to go with that person,” he added, “because once the money is paid, they can’t change their minds.”
During the summer months, thousands of migrants try to illegally cross the Mediterranean, usually on old and overloaded boats. Many are lost at sea. [/restrict]