On Tuesday, the Maltese Prime Minister, Robert Abela, stated that 23 powerboats destined for Libya have been seized. This was on suspicion that they would be used for migrant smuggling.
The boats were packed into 23 different containers and arrived at Malta’s Freeport on a container ship.
The boats were held after discussions with the Sanctions Monitoring Board, which is tasked with ensuring that Maltese entities observe UN sanctions.
“The movement of these powerboats was considered restricted, as their maritime equipment is suspected to potentially facilitate illegal migration,” the department said.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), called for urgent action to address the “dire situation” of migrants coming from Libya to Europe. It also denounced the violence against migrants, who are seeking safety in Europe. It demanded that states “tackle the shocking conditions migrants face in Libya, at sea, and upon their reception in Europe.”