Human Trafficking: Kingpin, Mered Medhanie, Extradited To Italy

MigrantsA 35-year-old Eritrean suspected to be the main-man of the operation to smuggle migrants from Africa to Europe has been extradited to Italy.

Reports say the suspect, Mered Medhanie, who is commonly referred to as ‘The General’, was flown to Rome on Tuesday, after he was held in Sudan in May.

According to BBC, Britain’s National Crime Agency said he was suspected to have masterminded the transit of a boat in October 2013, which sank near Lampedusa, an island in Italy.

At least 359 migrants were reported dead when the boat conveying passengers who were mostly Eritreans and Somalians capsized.

20 Eritreans Fly To Sweden Under EU Resettlement Plan

REFUGEES fly to sweden under eu Resettlement Plan About 20 Eritreans have left Italy for a new life in Sweden; the first refugees to be resettled under a new EU relocation plan.

Under the EU’s plan, 120,000 refugees will be redistributed from Italy and Greece to other European countries.

On Thursday, EU Interior Ministers agreed to beef up its border force Frontex in order to speed up deportations of failed asylum seekers.

They also called for more effective re-admission deals with countries of origin outside the EU.

The conclusions from their talks said EU states should detain migrants who may abscond before they are deported.

The plan to resettle 120,000 refugees from Italy and Greece; two countries which have borne the brunt of the influx, was agreed by the EU in September.

The group of 19 young Eritreans left Rome’s Ciampino Airport on board a financial police plane, AFP reports.

They were waved off by the EU’s Migration Commissioner, Dimitris Avramopoulos and Italy’s Interior Minister, Angelino Alfano.

Mr Avramopoulos said on Thursday that the refugees had been “registered, fingerprinted, identified and screened for relocation”.

The EU has agreed to set up so-called “hotspots” in Italy and Greece – new migrant registration centres for new arrivals to be filtered and priority given to refugees in need of international protection.

Mr Avramopoulos said that the first EU hotspot in Italy was already operational in Lampedusa.

Hundreds of migrants have drowned off the tiny island near North Africa, after crowding on to rickety boats that set sail from Libya.

Migrants Boat Capsize: Captain Charged

The captain of the migrants boat that capsized has been arrested and chargedThe Tunisian captain of a boat that capsized off Libya on Sunday, killing hundreds of migrants, has been arrested and charged with reckless multiple homicide, Italian officials say.

According to BBC, the Captain has been charged alongside a member of the crew with favouring illegal immigration.

The charges came after the European Union (EU) set out a package of measures to ease the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean.

Search and rescue operations will be stepped up, and there will be a campaign to destroy traffickers’ boats.

A homicide investigation has been opened into the disaster, he added.

After speaking to the survivors, the United Nations (UN) refugee agency said about 800 people died in the disaster. Meanwhile, earlier accounts had put the death toll at about 700.

“There were a little over 800 people on board, including children aged between 10 and 12,” said Carlotta Sami, of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Italy.

“There were Syrians, about 150 Eritreans, Somalians… They had left Tripoli at about 8:00am on Saturday.”

It was earlier reported that the ship was in distress in the Mediterranean and sent out an SOS.