Skip to Content

Frontex photo

Migrants from Libyan coast already up by 40 percent

The migrants pouring into Europe are crossing the Mediterranean between Libya and Italy with a criminal industry thriving and the European agency tasked to stop them is not optimistic about stemming the tide.

Published: June 14, 2017, 12:35 pm

    Frontex chief Fabrice Leggeri admitted in an interview with AFP that those who arrive from Africa via the central Mediterranean and Libya, have increased by more than 40 percent, and most come from west Africa. They are Senegalese, Guineans, Nigerians. In 2016 they already totalled 180 000.

    “It’s not the poorest who leave, because they have to be able to pay the smugglers,” said Leggeri and added that they were mainly men.

    According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the number of arrivals in Greece have dropped, but the wave arriving from north Africa have increased. By the beginning of April 2017, “some 36,000 migrants had arrived in Italy since the beginning of the year, or an increase of 43 percent over the same period last year,” according to Frontex.

    Leggeri said the Mediterranean crossing is run by criminal networks, and the network chiefs “likely include people who previously worked in the police force” in Libya.

    In a recent report by the EU’s law enforcement agency Europol, gangs smuggling migrants to or within Europe made 4.7 billion-5.7 billion euros in 2015. The profits are invested in “drug trafficking, arms trafficking, or even terrorism financing — we can’t exclude it,” Leggeri said.

    The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), similar to the visa-free Schengen zone, mean that people can travel freely within the zone for a modest fee of around 20 euros.

    Once the migrants arrive in Niamey, capital of Niger, smugglers are paid up to 150 euros each to reach the north of the country and the Libyan border, while the crossing to Europe can cost up to 1000 euros. The journey over to the EU on an inflatable boat only costs 300 euros but are particularly risky.

    The east Africa route is more expensive where the fee can run to 3000 euros, “from the Horn of Africa all the way to Italy,” Leggeri said. The deluge of migrants is not about to end, the Frontex chief believes. They “will move, as they always have in human history”.

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    Europe

    Immigration remains top Swiss concern

    Immigration is the foremost concern for Swiss voters, according to a poll by Sotomo for Swiss news channel RTS.

    Madrid announces return of direct rule over Catalonia

    The Spanish government has moved to suspend Catalonia’s autonomy in the worst constitutional crisis since 1977.

    Hero commander killed in Syria – when the war is nearly won

    For most Syrians it came as a shock: One of the most popular military commanders of the Syrian Arab Army, Issam Zahreddine, was killed on 18 October 2017.

    France votes bill allowing permanent state of emergency

    On Wednesday a tough new anti-terrorism bill was adopted in the French parliament, France24 reported. It gives the authorities, headed by French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb, expanded powers, including the search of homes, restricting movement and closing places of worship.

    Czech election outcome may be fresh challenge to EU establishment

    ANO, the Czech party led by a billionaire, is the clear favourite in a general election taking place this weekend where traditional parties most likely will face an uphill battle.

    Leftists disrupt Frankfurt book fair, blame conservatives

    Leftist activists at the Frankfurt Book Fair interrupted an event held by a member of the AfD party and a conservative publishing house.

    Huge anti-Islamic rally in London gets almost no media attention

    A huge demonstration held by tens of thousands of British citizens against jihadism in their own country, attracted little mainstream media attention.

    Multinational NATO forces amassing near Russian border

    A thousands-strong multinational NATO battalion stationed in Romania is part of the ongoing military buildup of NATO aimed at Russia.

    Frankfurt Book Fair: Leftist propaganda on steroids

    At the opening gala of the Frankfurt Book Fair on Tuesday night, Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron appealed to their audience for more "tolerance and diversity" and books to counter the rise of nationalism.

    French philosopher says France is in a ‘civil war’ with Islam

    A respected French philosopher, Damien Le Guay, believes that by refusing to acknowledge we are in a state of civil war with radical Islam, we are in fact only aggravating the situation.

    Go to archive