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

    Migrants don’t want to go to Portugal

    It appears to be the true picture of Portugal that migrants do not want to go to the country as other EU members await the imminent arrival of millions of Africans.

    Van rams into holidaymakers in Barcelona, police foil second attack

    The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the Barcelona attack in which 13 people were killed and over a hundred pedestrians injured when a white van rammed into unsuspecting holidaymakers.

    OSCE Monitor on Ukraine: Deadly violence has doubled since last year

    INTERVIEWInterview with Alexander Hug, Principal Deputy Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine.

    Cars as weapons: Could hackers be part of the growing problem?

    A car crashed through the front of a pizzeria on Monday evening in Seine-et-Marne, near Paris, killing a teenage girl. The 32-year-old male driver is believed to have "intentionally" crashed into the terrace on Rue du Commerce, Sept-Sorts in a "drugged state".

    Oligarch in trouble

    MOSCOWMoscow: Russian national oil company Rosneft joins a historical law battle against oligarch Vladimir Yevtushenkov

    MSF suspends its migrant rescue operations off Libyan coast

    RomeDoctors Without Borders (MSF) will suspend its migrant rescues in the Mediterranean, the organisation declared on Saturday after Italian government moved to halt the human trafficking from North Africa.

    Journalist who exposed German government bias in media coverage faces backlash

    German-Dutch freelance reporter Claudia Zimmermann faced innumerable hardships after exposing her employer, German public broadcaster WDR, for Soviet-style censorship of the migrant crisis. Zimmermann faced rejected contributions, calls to boycott her and even a public letter refuting her reporting which she says had been strictly factual.

    Knife crime surges in London with migrant influx

    LondonThe Weekly Standard (WS), a British daily, reported that the recent influx of African migrants, particularly from Somalia and the Congo, has caused a spike in knife crimes.

    Italian PM met Soros in secret as web of Soros-funded NGO’s is exposed

    RomeThe Italian Prime Minister met with George Soros in secret in May, just as concerned Italians were beginning to expose the spiderweb of Soros-funded NGO's operating in the country to promote immigration.

    Poland not considering deployment of US missiles, says minister

    WarsawPoland is not considering the deployment of US medium-and short-range missiles on its territory for the moment, Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski told the Kommersant business daily.

    Go to archive