Cabinet approves anti-human trafficking, illegal immigration draft law
Egyptian navy forces have foiled an alleged illegal migration attempt by 228 migrants from various nationalities near Alexandria (Archived)
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CAIRO: Egypt’s Cabinet approved Wednesday a draft law that imposes imprisonment and a fine for human trafficking and illegal immigration, Youm7 reported.

The penalties as stipulated in the law include either imprisonment or a fine set between 50,000 EGP ($6385) and 200,000 EGP. It applies to anyone who commits, attempts or mediates in the crime of smuggling migrants.

The law has stated the forming of an anti-illegal immigration national coordinating committee. It also stipulated that judicial and security authorities concerned with human trafficking to cooperate with its foreign counterparts through exchanging information.

The punishment imposed will be intensified imprisonment and a fine between 200,000 EGP and 500,000 EGP to those who: establish, organize or operate a criminal group for human trafficking, or those who carry weapons or threaten lives of the persons smuggled.

The offender will be sentenced to life in prison and will pay a fine of at least 200,000 EGP in case of the death or a permanent disability of a migrant, use of force or violence with migrants, smuggling of women and children among migrants, seizure or destroying og travel documents of the immigrants.

Minister of Justice Ahmed el-Zend previously stated that Egypt will found a court specialized in human trafficking and illegal immigration.

The Egyptian authorities routinely foil the attempts of migrants from Egypt, Somalia, Eritrea, Sudan, Syria and Iraq to migrate illegally to Europe, but no certain numbers are available about how many are able to successfully slip under the radar.

Italy has deported hundreds of Egyptians for illegally arriving in its territories in fishing boats over the past months.

Minister of Immigration Nabila Makram said Tuesday that a boat smuggling 560 Egyptian children had arrived at Italian coasts; most of the children are less than 11 years old.

Earlier in October, the owner of a fishing boat was arrested after 10 Syrian and Iraqi asylum seekers drowned after his boat sank. The boat had 35 migrants on while heading to Italy from the Delta’s Kafr el-Sheikh.

In an Oct. 13 statement, military spokesperson Mohamed Samir reported that 2,215 people were arrested in illegal immigration attempts in September, both in cities on the Mediterranean and at the Egyptian-Libya borders.

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