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Tue Sep 27 12:30:40 CAT 2016

Egypt holds four suspected traffickers over migrant boat capsize

AFP | 22 September, 2016 14:05
People gather along the shore of the Mediterranean Sea during a search for victims after a migrant boat capsized, in Al-Beheira, Egypt, September 22, 2016.
Image by: MOHAMED ABD EL GHANY / REUTERS

Egyptian prosecutors remanded four men in custody on Thursday on suspicion of people trafficking after a migrant boat capsize in which dozens are feared to have drowned, judicial and security officials said.

The four suspects are accused of involuntary manslaughter and human trafficking, the officials said.

At least 42 bodies have been recovered from the sea after the disaster off the Egyptian coast on Wednesday. Rescue teams saved 163 of those on board.

The deadly accident comes months after the European Union's border agency Frontex warned that growing numbers of migrants bound for Europe were turning to Egypt as a departure point for the perilous sea voyage.

Traffickers often use barely seaworthy vessels and overload them to extract the maximum money in fares for the crossing from desperate migrants.

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