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Migration trends: Migrant 'yachts' heading to Italy, says Europol


According to Europol, new dangerous migration trends keep on appearing. The EU's police agency says migrants are now being smuggled on sailing yachts from Turkey to Italy.

Europol has logged over 160 trips by this route, noting that migrants are paying up to €6,000 per head. Children are usually charged half price. Such prices may vary by nationality, by the type of boat, and by the number of people transported at the same time.

The vast majority take off from the southern coast of Turkey before landing in Apulia, Calabria, or the Syracuse province of Sicily.

Participants of the alarming migration trends are also revealed. The skippers are recruited mainly from Ukraine. Others come from Belarus, Georgia, and Russia. A few others come from Azerbaijan, Syria and Turkey.The migrants taking this route are mainly from Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, and Syria.

Other migration trends outlined by the agency are re-emergence of an alternative route across the Black Sea from Turkey to Romania as well as increase in arrivals from the western Mediterranean to Spain.

Smugglers are also employing more life-threatening methods of concealment for those that reach mainland Europe. Some hide in a vehicle's engine compartment as they approach a land border.

Europol chief Rob Wainright, in a statement, said migrant smuggling "has become a big and dangerous business in Europe."

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