Syrians have so far made up the largest group of migrants attempting the difficult journey across the Mediterranean Sea, followed by Afghans, Iraqis, Eritreans and sub-Saharan Africans. However, migrants from Bangladesh are now arriving in huge numbers on the European shores, reports The Independent.
“By the end of March last year only one Bangladeshi had arrived in Italy – and this year the number is more than 2,831 for the same period,” Flavio di Giacomo of International Organisation for Migration (IOM) told The Independent.
“The thing that’s really changing is the main nationality of the migrants, and the number coming from Bangladesh,” Flavio di Giacomo told The Independent.
Thus making Bangladesh, the country, with the largest single origin of migrants currently arriving on European shores, The Independent reports quoting sources at IOM.
As smugglers in Libya continue to expand their human trade, their counterparts in Asia are nabbing at this opportunity, reports the news portal.
“From Bangladesh, they first travelled to Dubai and Turkey, and finally reached Libya by plane,” an IOM spokesperson was quoted as saying by The Independent.
“At the airport, an ‘employer’ met them and took their documents,” the spokesperson added.
Few migrants taken ashore in Sicily and Apulia said the trip to Libya was organised by an “agency” that gave them a working visa for between $3,000 (£2,300) and $4,000 (£3,100).
Those rescued in the Mediterranean Sea have told aid workers they paid more than $10,000 (£7,750) each to be taken from Dhaka to Dubai or Turkey and onwards to Libya, where the violence and chaos engulfing the fractured country is fuelling powerful smuggling networks, The Independent said in the report.