Moroccan nationals were among the irregular migrants abandoned in the Mediterranean sea.
The European Union’s border force, Frontex, released a video captured by a surveillance plane showing a fishing boat transferring a group of migrants to a smaller vessel in the Mediterranean sea.
Frontex posted several tweets with the footage during the operation “Wait, wait. Why is that fishing trawler towing an empty wooden boat at high seas?”
Frontex added that its plane and drone “kept observing the fishing trawler and the boat with migrants over several hours, alerting Italian and Maltese authorities.”
The agency added that the operation was “clearly the case of a ‘mother boat’ used by criminals to carry a large group of migrants across the sea towards their destination before unloading them onto a smaller boat.”
The vessel, according to Euro News, was heading towards Italy, while the fishing boat attempted to return to Libya.
Italian security services, however, managed to arrest the crew in the fishing boat.
Euro News added that the crew in the fishing boat left the migrants in the Mediterranean sea without water or “any other supplies.”
Authorities rescued the migrants and took them to Lampedusa, an Island in the Mediterranean sea.
The majority of the irregular migrants rescued reportedly came from Morocco, Libya, and Bangladesh.
In recent years, significant numbers of migrants from North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa found themselves trapped in detention centers across Libya, following their illegal attempt to cross the Mediterranean to Europe
By the end of 2017, the number of irregular migrants reached 700,000.
Many Moroccans were among the irregular migrants trapped in Libya, with some of them calling for help from the Moroccan government.
The migrants shared videos in 2017 and 2018, urging the government to bring them back home
The Moroccan government has launched several repatriation programs to bring back the migrants stranded in Libya.