Rome, July 4 (IANS/AKI) People smugglers murdered migrants who were unable to pay for their passage across the Mediterranean, harvested their organs and sold them to Egyptian traffickers, an Eritrean informant allegedly told Italian prosecutors.
The horrifying claims were made public by investigators in a probe that led to the arrest on Monday of 38 suspected traffickers, among them an Italian, on the orders of prosecutors in the Sicilian capital Palermo.
The Eritrean informant testified to prosecutors after he was arrested in Italy last year during an earlier phase of the probe during which a total 24 people were held.
He told prosecutors that he decided to turn state’s evidence after a migrant shipwreck off the southern Italian island of Lampedusa in October 2013 in which 366 people died, including many Eritreans, who had sail from Libya.
“I am testifiying because there have been too many deaths. The shipwreck off Lampedusa of October 3, 2013 particularly got to me although I had no part in it,” the informant allegedly stated.