CAIRO: Egypt’s navy foiled an illegal immigration attempt and prevented 14 young Egyptians from boarding a boat and crossing the Mediterranean Ocean to Italy, military spokesperson Mohamed Samir said in a statement Thursday.
The navy forces suspected a fishing boat off the coast of Rosetta of trafficking, and after searching the boat, discovered 14 young Egyptian people aged between 12 and 20. They, along with the boat crew, were arrested over attempting to illegally leave the country, according to the statement.
They were taken to Abu Qir naval base where they received medical care before being handed over to prosecutors for investigation.
Egypt has intervened in a number of migration attempts by hundreds of asylum seekers from the Middle East and North Africa, particularly from Egypt Syria, Iraq and Libya, via the Mediterranean Sea to Italy or Greece as gates for other European countries.
A total of 2,215 people were arrested while attempting to illegally emigrate through the west and north-west ports of Egypt, the armed forces said in a statement late September 2015.