Human Trafficking: Mediterranean Sea

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 17th November 2015.

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Photo of Lord Empey Lord Empey UUP

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many people smugglers have been apprehended by United Kingdom or other European Union armed forces or law enforcement agencies operating in the Mediterranean area.

Photo of Earl Howe Earl Howe The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence, Deputy Leader of the House of Lords

As at 10 November 2015, the EU Naval Force Operation in the Mediterranean, Operation SOPHIA, has been involved in identifying 42 suspected migrant smugglers to the Italian authorities for further investigation. Outside of Operation SOPHIA, UK vessels involved in search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean over the period from May to October 2015, have also identified a further 35 suspected smugglers to the Italian authorities.

The Ministry of Defence does not hold information on the total number of suspected migrant smugglers apprehended by European law enforcement agencies in the Mediterranean this year.

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