On Monday, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said that 633 migrants were intercepted and returned to Libya, from 27 November to 3 December 2022.
In a statement, the IOM added that 21,457 migrants were intercepted and returned to Libya during 2022. It added that from 1 January to 3 December, 517 migrants died and 830 went missing on the central Mediterranean routed.
This is compared to 32,425 migrants, who were intercepted and returned to Libya in 2021.
Days ago, the security authorities in eastern Libya have launched an investigation into 500 Egyptian and Syrian immigrants. This came after the thwarting of an attempt to smuggle them across the Mediterranean to Europe, according to Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.
The local authorities in Tobruk announced that the forces of the city’s naval base managed to arrest 500 migrants, off the eastern coast of the country. These included families and children, who were crammed onto a large boat, as they tried to escape to Europe.
The mayor of Tobruk, called on the security authorities to confiscate the boat, and arrest the smugglers.
The authorities did not announce the nationality of the trafficking gangs, nor the amount of money obtained from this quantity of people. They noted that smuggling operations have been on the rise since the beginning of this year, across the eastern and western coasts of the country.
The IOM announced earlier that it had intercepted 235 migrants across the Mediterranean between November 13-19. The migrants were returned with the help of the Libyan Coast Guard.