Traffickers Use Teenagers to Drive Boats

“Traffickers turn to teenagers to drive boats across the Mediterranean,” by Luca Muzi for the Guardian:

Traffickers in Egypt and Libya are increasingly using children to drive boats of migrants to Italy. Many of these teenagers are then detained and imprisoned by the Italian authorities, facing up to 15 years in jail and fines of hundreds of thousands of euros.

This year, 18 children have been sent to jail in Catania, Sicily, on trafficking charges. Others are being held in juvenile detention centres in Agrigento, Palermo, Siracusa and Reggio Calabria. Lawyers in Sicily say more and more minors are being charged with offences as traffickers attempt to evade Italian authorities by sending children in their place.

Said, now 19, was only 15 when he was jailed in Italy on charges of aiding and abetting illegal immigration and criminal association…

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