Libya arrests 400 illegal immigrants

2011-12-05 21:14

Tripoli - Libya on Monday said its forces had prevented more than 400 Africans from illegally emigrating to Italy when they intercepted a boat off the coast of the North African country.

"Despite a lack of means, we were able to prevent illegal immigration of people who were heading for Italy," interim interior minister Fawzi Abdelali told reporters.

Abdelali said the problem of illegal immigration would be treated differently by the country's new rulers than the way it was tackled by the previous regime of slain dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

"Illegal immigration was a means of pressure used by the former regime to blackmail Europe. Now this issue will be treated differently," he said, adding that the new Libya will be focused in tackling the issue.

"We expect support from the world" in preventing such trafficking, he added.

In the port of Tripoli some 420 immigrants were being guarded by former rebels who toppled Gaddafi as well as being monitored by interior ministry officials, an AFP reporter at the scene reported.

Among them were Ethiopians, Ghanaians, Ivorians and Nigerians.

According to General Joma al-Meshri, a group of former rebels and officers intercepted the boat early on Monday 16km off the coast of Tripoli.

A commander of the ex-rebels, Khaled al-Bassir, said they had received information about the vessel's departure, and that three patrol boats had set off to intercept it.

Many of the immigrants said they had become victims of a fraud planned by Libyans to swindle them after they had each paid people smugglers between $1 000 and $1 500.

For several years, Libya has been a transit country for hundreds of thousands of African immigrants trying to reach Europe in search of a better life.

Read more on:    libya  |  refugees  |  human trafficking  |  north africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.