The smuggling of migrants from Africa to Europe generates $150 million annually to its perpetrators, a senior UN official revealed yesterday.
In a press conference held at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) headquarters in Cairo, Egypt, Massoud Karimipour explained that "the main migrant smuggling routes to Europe take off from north, east and west Africa."
Karimipour revealed that the United Nations provides training workshops for 2,439 officials, in Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria, in order to "develop and build their capacity to deal with cases of human trafficking, prosecute its perpetrators and tighten border controls."
35,000immigrants have arrived in Europe from North Africa so far this year
A spokesman for the International Organisation for Migration, Joel Millman, said on 21 April, that the number of immigrants who drowned in the Mediterranean in an attempt to reach Europe illegally since the beginning of 2015 is more than 30 times as many as those who died during the same period last year.
He pointed out that the number of immigrants who have arrived in Europe from North Africa since the beginning of the year has reached more than 35,000 migrants.
Last year, 219,000 illegal immigrants arrived in Europe after crossing the Mediterranean, where approximately 3,500 of them died in the sea.