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Gambian, Senegalese alleged human smugglers jailed in Italy

Nov 4, 2016, 10:23 AM | Article By: Alagie Jinkang reporting from Italy

More than 32 migrants, the majority of them Gambians and Senegalese, have been arrested and sent directly to prison by the Italian police force this year. 

The Italian Interior Ministry reported on its online page that the guys were alleged to be smugglers in the Mediterranean. 

All the minors involved in the alleged trafficking are Gambians, according to the Italian state police report.

The European country’s Ministry of Interior explained that pictures of the alleged smugglers were taken, while in the international waters when rescue helicopters are drawn over their heads to take pictures and read their conditions for immediate rescue operations.

In 2014, at least 200 alleged smugglers were arrested, detained and imprisoned in Italy. In 2015, more than 90, and so far in 2016, at least 32 have been arrested, detained and imprisoned.

The Italian state police investigation revealed that many Gambians and Senegalese resort to smuggling, because they cannot pay the Libyan smugglers and traffickers. 

It further stated that Gambians are also given the role of controlling the compass to direct the captain and the communication for rescue operations.

The investigation also revealed that many Gambians and Senegalese could captain the fibre boats and wooden ships, because of their closeness and traditional activities in the Atlantic Ocean.

Our correspondent in Italy, who has attended many conferences on irregular migration, said many of the alleged Gambian and Senegalese are victims of Libyan traffickers and smugglers.

These alleged smugglers who were identified and officially reported as potential criminals, according to the Italian Justice System, have the burden to justify their innocence, but they were not given any such chance.