Immigrants heading to Europe pay between 1,000 and 2,000 dollars for the journey, which brings in around 1 million dollars for traffickers that use big cargo ships. This is the case for ships like the Blue Sky M, abandoned off the coast of Italy, the International Immigrants Organization said on Friday. According to a spokesman for the organization, which is based in Geneva, traffickers have recently started using big cargo ships to illegally transport immigrants to Europe. This allows them to make “large scale profits”.
Two cargo ships were intercepted by the Italian coastguard over the last few days. They were carrying mainly Syrian immigrants.
“Entire towns are being evacuated in Syria, which means thousands of immigrants every month. According to our information, immigrants pay between 1,000 and 2,000 dollars per person, which means a cargo ship like the Blue Sky M can make more than 1 million dollars in one journey. This pays for the crew, its evacuation and no doubt money is put aside that will be useful for future operations”, said the spokesman.
Around 800 immigrants were abandoned by the crew of the Moldovan flagged Blue Sky M on Wednesday. They were rescued by the Italian coastguard. On Friday, a cargo ship transporting 450 immigrants was found drifting off the coast of Calabre (south Italy).
Italy has been confronted with a growing flood of illegal immigrants for several years. These people are risking their lives trying to get to Europe via the Mediterranean. Around 400 arrive every day.
More than half are Syrian or Eritreans.
Maria Novak (Source: Belga)