The Egyptian Coast Guard on Friday foiled an attempt by 14 Egyptians trying to illegally immigrate to Italy from Edco City by way of the Mediterranean Sea, according to state media.
The security forces caught the group while they were boarding an illegal boat, and informed the prosecution to investigate the case.
The investigation found that the defendants agreed to pay EGP 30,000 to two individuals to assist them with crossing the Mediterranean.
On Thursday, Egyptian border guards recovered nine bodies that drowned while attempting to cross the Mediterranean near the Nile Delta governorate of Kafr EL-Sheikh, northern Egypt.
Many illegal immigrants have risked their lives trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe. Hundreds of Egyptian nationals have been repatriated from Italy following coordination with the Egyptian Foreign Ministry.
In January, the Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS) reported that 98% of Egyptian young males are more likely to emigrate to improve their living conditions with the hope of finding jobs with higher salaries so they can start a family and afford living requirements.
In October 2015, Minister of Justice Ahmed Al-Zind said, before his dismissal in March, that Egypt will launch a special court for illegal migration and human trafficking crimes. The Egyptian cabinet then approved in November 2015 an illegal migration law targeting people-smugglers with long prison sentences–including life sentences–along with heavy fines ranging from EGP 50,000 to EGP 200,000.
Hundreds of Egyptians were arrested in recent months for attempting to illegally migrate to Europe. Egypt was criticised and condemned by several local and international right groups and countries for not limiting the phenomenon.