Eight migrants charged after Safi breakout

Inspector tells court police are spending up to 12 hours monitoring open centres because of similar incidents

Police outside the Safi detention centre (File photo)
Police outside the Safi detention centre (File photo)

Eight migrants have been remanded in custody after allegedly breaking out of the Safi Detention Centre a week ago today.

The men, five Algerians, a Moroccan, a Libyan and an Egyptian, aged between 21 and 32, were arrested after allegedly breaching the perimeter fence at the centre on 4 October at around 4:30pm.

“We can’t carry on like this,” said Inspector Trevor Micallef. “There is a need that something is done, as quickly as can be. There is a waste of resources,” the inspector said, ruing the fact that police officers who could be deployed elsewhere were spending up to 12 hours on duty at the open centre because of incidents such as these.

The migrants pleaded not guilty to the charge of escaping from lawful custody, after it was explained to them that they could face between six months to one year in jail as a result.

The inspector asked the court not to hold back in handing down punishment if guilt were to be eventually established because “we must send a message that we mean business” and solve the problems lawfully.

Lawyer Fransina Abela was legal aid defence counsel to the men.

More in Court & Police