Surveillance footage taken by Frontex shows criminal people smugglers unloading 81 migrants from a fishing vessel onto a smaller boat just off the coast of Italy.
“A surveillance plane belonging to the European Union’s border force, Frontex, captured footage of the smugglers at work, about 100 kilometres south of the island of Lampedusa,” reports EuroNews.
After unloading the migrants, the fishing boat sailed back towards Libya but was later intercepted by an Italian patrol boat.
Frontex were alerted to the fishing trawler after it was spotted towing an empty wooden boat at high seas.
“This was clearly the case of a “mother boat” used by criminals to carry a large group of migrants across the sea towards their destination before unloading them onto a smaller boat,” said Frontex.