CAIRO: A total of 26 Egyptians arrived at Cairo International Airport after having been deported by Italian authorities for illegally accessing Italian territory by sea, Youm7 reported.
A source at the airport told Youm7 that they boarded an Egyptian plane from Catania in Sicily after they managed to arrive to Italy in a boat provided by brokers.
Twelve of the Egyptians are from Cairo, 10 are from Alexandria and four are from Ismailia, the source said.
The most recent statistics from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) indicate that 100,000 people of different nationalities illegally emigrate from Egypt each year, and economic hardship is one reason behind illegal emigration, Youm7 reported IOM MENA Regional Director Pasquale Lupoli as saying at a December workshop in Cairo.
IOM Project Coordinator Amr Taha said at the same workshop that IOM launched voluntary and rehabilitation projects to encourage illegal immigrants to return to Egypt and start their own business upon returning.
The National Center for Social and Criminological Research (NCSCR) in coordination with the National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) launched a four-day training program to combat human trafficking and illegal immigration in March, Youm7 reported.
Egypt’s Mediterranean shore has been used by Africans to illegally immigrate to Europe, and since the instability in Syria in 2011, Syrians have also resorted to illegal immigration from Egypt.
In October 2013, following the death of 12 migrants whose boat capsized near the Egyptian port of Alexandria, the European Union voted to launch a maritime surveillance system aimed at preventing further migrant disasters, according to the BBC.
Additional reporting by Mohamed Al-Alem, Rany Mostafa and Hanan Fayed.