Thursday, August 07, 2014


If you are going to commit a crime, I should have thought it was obvious that taking a selfie while you are doing it is unwise, but that is what a man accused of being a people trafficker did at the weekend. He shot a video, now in the hands of the Italian police, of himself and an accomplice piloting a migrant boat and both men have been arrested.

The boat, which had sailed from Libya, was carrying 357 migrants and the engine caught fire during the journey. [The cause is not yet known.] Despite the efforts of some of the migrants to put out the fire, the engine would not restart. The migrants were saved by a ship sailing under a Greek flag after it had been alerted by the Italian Coast Guard. 

On Sunday the passengers were brought to Pozzallo, where some of them told police that they had paid $3,000 each to make the journey with a life jacket. Those who were willing to risk it without a life jacket were charged $90 each.  One migrant said that before leaving the Libyan beach where they had been told to assemble, the passengers were constantly hit and threatened, to make them hurry aboard two dinghies which took them out to the wooden boat that would attempt the crossing. Once aboard the already crowded boat, this man was told to travel in the hold. 

Also at the weekend another migrant boat capsized 50 miles off the Libyan coast and the Italian Navy and other Mare Nostrum operatives saved 268 people. Two bodies were recovered but no one knows exactly how many migrants the boat was carrying.

Over 2,500 migrants were rescued by the Italian Navy in the Mediterranean last weekend.


Anonymous said...

Again we note how desperate these people must be. Thank God for the true Samaritans that rescue them. What then will be their fate? How terrifying it all is.

Unknown said...

I guess desperate people do desperate things! This whole thing is such a tragedy!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I totally agree, Shirley. Most don't want to stay in Italy but to get to Germany or Switzerland.
Hi, Patricia. Yes, it's so sad.

Whispering Walls said...

Are there any statistics regarding the fates of the migrants who have got into Sicily? How many of them have made it to Germany or elsewhere? What's the average stay at a camp in Sicily?

Lee said...

When they made the movie "Dumber & Dumber"...they really could've made it with a cast of millions!!!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

A similar situation is happening in the US, Pat. Over 90,000 children from South America have crossed the boarder into the US by land illegally. Their parents sent them out of desperation because of drug gang violence in their countries. It has caused an uproar of debate in this country as to what to do with the children. There is so much poverty and despair in this world, but I guess that has been the case since the beginning of time!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

hi, WW. there are now so many arrivals that people are moved from reception centres in sicily to other ones in Italy as soon as possible. I don't know what the average stay is. A lot of migrants escape and it's impossible to say how many reach northern Europe illegally. I don't know how many get permission to stay in Germany or switzerland.

Haha, Lee!

Hi, Pat. I didn't know about that situation - that is, I knew about illegal immigration into the US from South america but not that there were so many unaccompanied migrants. I'll read up on it - thanks.

Anonymous said...

Pat, do you have access to an online petition site like in Sicily? Perhaps your fact gathering could lead to a multi - national call for governments to agree a unilateral strategy for dealing with desperate emigrants.

Saying they are illegal immigrants, while true, suggests a crime of law but surely not an intentional immoral action?

It is tough on countries receiving large numbers of refugees but we know it is the rich West that fuels skirmishes that turn to civil was and war, then human disasters.

I wonder if boat loads are sailing to Turkey and Cyprus from the Holy Land. Oh, if only we were all able to be holy.

Jenny Woolf said...

Obviously this man was not only nasty but also stupid.

RNSANE said...

Such tragedies when people are so desperate to escape to freedom. So often, in my work with sexually abused children, we saw young Hispanic victims, who fled north through Mexico with men called
"coyotes". Women and children were raped by these predators who also took large sums of money for their being smuggled into the U.S. Heartbreaking, indeed.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Shirley. Yes, we have here but the goverment is constantly asking for EU help. Thanks for the idea. I read that there have been Palestinians on some of the latest boats to arrive.
Exactly, Jenny.
That's interesting but very sad information, Carmen. Thank you for sharing it here.

What a world!

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Hi Pat you summed it up "What a World" !! People are fighting in Calais to get to Britain , but by law they should stay where they first landed, I am unsure of all of the laws but Sicily is now desparate too . I don't think they want to go to other countries as they will not get the help, as I said before not sure what can be done, very sad,

Thank you for all your lovely comments on my latest posts, yes I love the Arches just outside the church in Angouleme too, take care xoox

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Anne. I don't think anyone knows what to do but I think there has to be a safe corridor for these poor people. You take care, too. x


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