Egypt arrests four in connection with migrant boat disaster

Egypt arrests four in connection with migrant boat disaster
Prosecutors accuse four suspects of involuntary manslaughter after Wednesday's boat capsize that left scores dead and hundreds missing.
1 min read
23 September, 2016
People traffickers often use unseaworthy and overloaded boats to transport migrants [AFP]

Four men were remanded in custody by Egyptian prosecutors on Thursday for suspicion of people trafficking, following 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 confirmed.

At least 42 bodies have been recovered from the sea after the disaster off the Egyptian port city of Rosetta on Wednesday.

Rescue teams saved 163 of those on board. A further 392 people are still missing, Egypt's state-owned MENA news agency reported.

Prosecutors also ordered the release of 160 of the rescued survivors, including 117 Egyptians and 43 foreigners.

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. 

Once in Egypt, some migrants have been reportedly lured into desperate acts, including selling their organs on the country's black market in order to cover extortionate fees owed to traffickers.