CAIRO: Border guards in Egypt’s Delta governorate of Beheira arrested 74 people over an attempted “illegal immigration” to Turkey through the Mediterranean, Youm7 reported Friday.
Among the arrested were 11 Egyptians and 63 foreigners including 17 Sudanese, 39 Syrians and seven Ethiopians. They arrived in two cars at the coastal town of Edko as they were planning to board a boat to Turkey, according to Youm7.
They informed authorities that three unauthorized brokers have taken amounts of money from them to facilitate their travel, Youm7 quoted authorities as saying.
A police report was filed about the incident and has been sent to investigation authorities.
Hundreds of Egyptians, in search of better work opportunities, have been arrested in similar attempts to migrate to Italy and other EU states over the past few years. A number have drowned in the process.
During the past few months, authorities foiled several attempts made by Egyptians and foreigners to illegally cross Egypt’s Western border with Libya; Sallum crossing, despite current security crisis in the oil-rich country.
In April, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry raised the issue during the EU neighborhood policy review in Barcelona, Spain, where he called for stepped up cooperation and dialogue between Europe and its Mediterranean neighbors in North Africa and the Middle East to combat threats of illegal immigration.
Additional reporting by Gamal Abu el-Fadl and Nasser Gouda