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425 illegal migrants disembark at Maltese port after threatening to blow up vessel

A total of 425 illegal migrants onboard four tourist boats were allowed to disembark at a Maltese port on Saturday after they threatened blow up one of the vessels, the government said.

According to a statement issued by the Maltese government on Saturday, the decision to permit the migrants to disembark was made because the circumstances onboard the vessels had worsened considerably due to “commotion”, Malta Today reports.

Today, Prime Minister Robert Abela stated that the decision was made after migrants onboard the Captain Morgan vessel Europa II stole knives from the kitchen and threatened to blow up the ship’s gas cylinders.

 “Up until Saturday morning, we had no intention of allowing the vessels to dock, but the situation escalated. The security forces told us that some migrants had barged into the kitchen and stole knives.

They were threatening the crew and saying they would set gas cylinders on fire,” Abela told Maltese media.

“We took a difficult decision. The easiest thing to do would have been to send the army on board, take over and resolve the situation. But I did not want to risk people’s lives,” Abela continued.

“We also kept in mind that some of these people had been at sea for over 40 days. We did our duty, saved them and gave them their basic needs. But a person cannot even spend 40 days on a luxury cruise.”

Abela has urged the European Union to show solidarity by immediately redistributing the newly arrived migrants throughout the bloc.

“The EU told us that they would help only once we reopened our ports. There are no more excuses now. The EU must act. I expect that the relocation concept takes a tangible form as from Monday,” Abela said.

To combat the unending flow of illegal migrants making their way to Malta, Robert Abela on May 28th signed an agreement with Libyan president Fayez al-Sarraj that will allow joint coordination units in the capitals of each country.

The centers will “offer the necessary support relating to combatting illegal immigration in Libya and the Mediterranean region”.

Voice Of Europe 
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