It has been reported that three people have been detained by the Libyan authorities, for allegedly being involved in trafficking migrants to Europe. They are being held captive on suspicion of their involvement in the number of vessels that were set for Europe on Thursday, but ended up sinking because they were crammed with migrants, and it resulted in the death of more than 200 people.
One of the unstable vessels was carrying more than 400 migrants who came from various backgrounds, such as Syrian and Bangladeshi nationals; it capsized on Thursday, just after setting off from the city of Zuwara.
Zuwara has been a hub for smugglers who have been exploiting the power vacuum in Libya.
The three men who have been detained were responsible for the boat that was meant to arrive in Italy, but capsized. According to Reuters, a security official said that the three men were “in their twenties; we think that more are involved which we are still chasing”
Libyan officials have already sent a formal request to the European Union (EU) to aid Libya in training its navy, and providing them with artillery adequate enough for Libya to get rid of the people smugglers and Islamic State, the leeches that have been feeding off Libya since the fall of Gadhafi.
On Thursday, many residents of the city of Zuwara took part in a protest, the protesters called for the government authorities to intervene and put an end to people smugglers, who merely use the town as a launch pad for unstable boats packed with migrants to go to Europe, only to arrive in a body bag.
The number of migrants who have crossed the Mediterranean has been at its highest in 2015 than ever before, 300,000 people have reached Europe’s shores in 2015, compared to the 219,000 who arrived in the whole of 2014.