BNS Leopold I Finds Suspect Migrant Smugglers

Belgian Frigate LEOPOLD I, part of EUNAVFOR MED operation Sophia Task Force, entered Augusta harbour, in Italy, on November 6 to disembark 258 migrants saved from a wooden fishing vessel.

While sailing towards Italy, the involved Belgian personnel has individuated, among the 254 male and 4 female saved, 4 suspect smugglers now in the hands of the Italian Authorities for further investigations.

This is not the first case in which, following EUNAVFOR MED operation Sophia activities, suspect smugglers were arrested by Italian Judicial Authorities. In an operation conducted on October 28, HMS Richmond spotted 3 more suspect smugglers among the rescued migrants.

A total of 42 suspect smugglers have been reported to the Italian Authorities since the Operation Sophia Task Force reached Full Operational Capability on July 27.

In 4 months, EUNAVFOR MED operation Sophia has been involved in several rescue activities saving the lives of more than 5300 migrants.


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