The captain and a crew member of a boat that capsized off Libya on Sunday, killing hundreds of migrants, have been arrested, Italian officials say. The two, held on suspicion of people trafficking, were among 27 survivors who arrived in Sicily late on Monday. The arrests come after the EU set out a package of measures to try to ease the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean.
Search and rescue operations will be stepped up and there will be a campaign to destroy traffickers’ boats. Italian Infrastructure Minister Graziano Delrio said the prosecutor of Catania in Sicily, Giovanni Salvi, had ordered the arrests of the two men who had arrived in the port on a coast guard vessel.
Other officials said the pair were the Tunisian captain of the migrant boat and his Syrian first mate. Prosecutor Salvi has made two arrests this evening of persons involved, that shows Italian justice is working,” Mr Delrio told reporters in Catania. A homicide investigation has been opened into the disaster, he added. He said more passengers were locked inside cabins on another deck and hundreds more were crammed on to its upper deck.