Teens get juvenile detention over passport offence

Magistrate urges better coordination in fight against human traffickers as 3 jailed over false passports

Magistrate Joe Mifsud
Magistrate Joe Mifsud

A magistrate has urged better coordination in the fight against human traffickers after jailing three persons caught using false passports.

Magistrate Joe Mifsud jailed one man from Cameroon for six months and sentenced two 16 year olds from Somalia to 3 months of juvenile detention over passport offences on Saturday morning.

“Not a single duty shift passes without such cases,” remarked magistrate Joseph Mifsud, “but before the courts, only cases of the victims of exploitation arrive, never someone who organised a clandestine voyage and provided them with false documents.”

The court said that it was very clear that there were several criminal organisations working in tandem with others in various African states, Libya and European countries – mostly in Italy.

Sentencing the men, Magistrate Mifsud remarked that a concerted effort by law enforcement is needed, using the means at their disposal, to dedicate themselves to finding whoever is responsible for the exploitation of so many people in this dirty business that leads to the laundering of millions and also leads to the support of terrorism.

The court expressed surprise at how nobody seemed to be talking about this. “The industry of immigration, whilst leaving victims at sea and on land, is making millions from thousands of vulnerable persons.”

Exploitation begins in villages from where the migrants leave and are transported to Libya, where they are further exploited and abused to earn money in the hope of making their voyage of hope, said the court. “Then they are placed on flimsy boats which are not seaworthy for more than a few miles and try to reach Sicily. When they reach a country, like Malta, there are people who continue to exploit them and provide them with false documents.”

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