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Sudanese man detained in relation to illegal immigrants tragedy
By MaltaMedia News
Mar 4, 2006, 20:07 CET

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A Sudanese man who resides in Malta, along with another number of foreigners, is being detained by Police in relation to organized activity focused on providing illegal immigrants an escape from Malta. 14 illegal immigrants who escaped from Maltese detention centers earlier during the week allegedly paid as much as Lm 365 (1,000USD) to flee from Armier Bay near Mellieħa on a boat. However, the escape ended in tragedy after the boat capsized, leaving one immigrant dead and nine missing. Three of the illegal immigrants, all men, managed to swim back ashore while another one was rescued by member of the Armed Forces of Malta.

The incident, which occurred on Friday is being intensely investigated by the police. The tragedy struck when the boat started filling up with water and eventually capsized on Friday evening. Intensive searches yielded a body early on Saturday morning, belonging to one of the illegal immigrants. A further nine are still reported as missing. The boat the illegal immigrants attempted to escape with was also found later on Saturday, around three miles away from the coast.

The illegal immigrants who managed to swim back ashore, along with the other male who was retrieved at sea, were immediately taken to St. Luke’s Hospital by authorities who were called on location. The immigrants are all claiming that they fled detention centers in Malta including Ta’ Kandja, Safi and Hal Far centers.

The illegal immigrants are saying that the voyage was directed to Sicily.

Searches for the missing illegal immigrants continue.

Magistrate Dr Dennis Montabello was informed of the case and appointed various experts to assist him in the inquiry. Investigations are still underway.

Read more about this issue on MaltaMedia's special feature:
Lanċa Ġejja u Oħra Sejra: Malta and its migrations.

© Copyright 2005 - MaltaMedia Online Network

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