Syrian stowaways discovered on fishing boat

20 Syrian stowaways were discovered hidden last night on board a Maltese-owned fishing vessel at Marsa.

A joint operation conducted by Customs, the Armed Forces and the Security Services last night led to the discovery of 20 Syrian nationals, hidden on board a Maltese-owned fishing vessels, which had just returned to the Grand Harbour.

In a search which was launched soon after the fishing vessel moored at Fuel Wharf in Marsa, customs and police officials discovered the Syrians hidden under deck.

Investigations which were conducted by the Security Services concluded that the the Maltese owner and his Egyptian crew knew the Syrians were on board, and attempted to smuggle them into Malta.

The owner and crew were arrested and are expected to be charged with human trafficking, while the Syrian refugees were transferred to Safi Detention Centre pending questioning by the Commissioner for Refugees.