By Reem Hossam
A total of 22 illegal immigrants from Egypt were deported from the Italian town of Catania by local security forces.
The migrants attempted to reach Italy by fishing boat, but were deported back to Egypt with a number of security officers on board an Egyptian plane, state media reported.
After their arrest, three of the migrants were proven to have escaped from the implementation of five judicial verdicts, and were subsequently submitted to the relevant authorities.
In January, 24 Egyptians were deported from Italy for arriving illegally and violating residency requirements. They were arrested near the Italian coast.
A total of 174 individuals of different nationalities were arrested 47 nautical miles north-west of Matruh, after attempting to illegally enter Italy from the coast of Egypt’s Daqahleya governorate.
The arrested migrants were originally from Egypt, Sudan, Syria, the Comoros, Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Kenya and Chad.
Egypt’s law covering illegal immigration stipulates that a number of penalties, including up to five years in a high security prison, will be imposed on smugglers, in addition to fines ranging from EGP 20,000 to EGP 50,000.
In some cases, penalties may be extended to life imprisonment if smuggling was undertaken by organised groups, or in the case of migrants’ deaths.