CAIRO: Coast guards recovered five dead bodies and arrested 20 people Monday in Egypt’s northern governorate of Kafr el-Sheikh while attempting to “illegally immigrate” to Italy, Youm7 reported.
Residents of Burullus city reported “floating bodies” in the sea to the police and coast guards, who transferred the bodies to the Central Balteem Hospital.
A probe has been opened into those arrested to find the agents behind the incident.
Earlier this month, three bodies were recovered and a total of 31 immigrants, including Sudanese, Syrians and Eritreans, were arrested near the Mediterranean shores of Beheira after their boat capsized.
Coastguards occasionally foil the attempt of asylum seekers to reach Europe illegally, but border guards prevent dozens, mostly Egyptian, Sudanese and Somali, from reaching Libya illegally almost on weekly basis.
An action plan was adopted in an international conference on illegal immigration hosted by Egypt April 23-24, where Cairo called on the European Union to adopt “more positive policies” toward illegal immigration, and launch new means for documented immigration, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Also, a draft law on illegal immigration is waiting to be ratified by the Cabinet; it stipulates a prison term of 10-20 years for offenders. Any person who causes the death or drowning of any person would be subject to the death penalty, according to the draft.