CAIRO: Egypt’s navy foiled an illegal emigration attempt and prevented 44 people from boarding an boat and crossing the Mediterranean Ocean to Italy, Youm7 reported Friday.
Nineteen Egyptians, 10 Sudanese, eight Eritreans in addition to three boat crew members were among those who were arrested at Alexandria Port, security source said.
They confessed to have paid a total of 20,000 EGP ($2,000) per person for an anonymous middleman to arrange for the boat trip.
The arrestees were taken to a 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.