Italy arrests an Egyptian after the death of seven migrants from the cold

Italian police announced on Saturday the arrest of an Egyptian suspected of smuggling migrants across the Mediterranean on a journey that left seven people dead due to hypothermia.

The suspect is accused of organizing a dangerous journey on board a boat carrying 287 people from Libya. Most of them were suffering from cold when the coast guard rescued them on January 25.

The police in the city of Agrigento in Sicily said in a statement that the suffering on board the overcrowded 16-meter boat ended "with the death of seven Bangladeshis as a result of hypothermia, due to the inhumane conditions of the voyage."

The 38-year-old, who was identified by survivor eyewitnesses, was previously sentenced for the crime of human smuggling in 2011, according to what the police announced, without further details.

Winter weather did not constitute an obstacle to migrants seeking to cross the Mediterranean this year, despite the icy temperatures and bad sea conditions.

Since the beginning of the year, about 10,570 migrants have managed to reach Europe by sea, out of a total of 11,986 migrants, according to the International Organization for Migration. And 229 died or went missing while trying to reach the Old Continent.


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