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Nine smugglers detained after 100 died in capsized boat

Nine suspected smugglers were remanded in custody after a boat accident in which about one hundred migrants died in the Mediterranean Sea.

• June 21, 2023
CAPSIZED IMMIGRANT BOAT
CAPSIZED BOAT USED TO ILLUSTRATE THE STORY[CREDIT; ARAB NEWS]

Nine suspected smugglers were remanded in custody after a boat accident in which about 100 migrants died in the Mediterranean Sea.

A court in the Greek port city of Kalamata made the ruling on Tuesday evening, state broadcaster ERT reported on Wednesday.

The Egyptians, aged between 20 and 40, were accused of forming a criminal organisation and endangering lives on the high seas.

It was suspected that they belonged to an international gang.

The charges were based on statements by survivors who identified the nine men as the crew of the sunken fishing vessel.

The Egyptians were rescued from the vessel that capsized on June 14, along with 95 other people.

In the meantime, another body has been pulled from the Mediterranean Sea just over 90 kilometres to the west of the Greek peninsula of the Peloponnese.

This brings the number of fatalities to 82, according to the Coastguard.

The 30-metre-long fishing vessel sank in international waters last week with up to 700 people on board.

It had set sail from Libya with Italy as its destination.

The vast majority of the migrants were swept to the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea, about 5,000 metres deep at the point where it sank.

Their bodies will probably never be recovered.

There were accusations against the coastguards for not helping the people while in distress at sea, an accusation the Greek authorities had rejected.

(dpa/NAN)

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