Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The Smuggling Story

It's one of those stories that you read through twice, and start to be amused over.

So, for several months....there's been this new human trafficking route into Europe (in particular...Italy).  The deal involved smugglers out of Libya....buying up the inflatable 100-man rafts (made in China)....getting them ten to twenty miles off the coast....then they radio someone.  Journalists won't investigate this angle to the story.  Some folks think that the Mafia in Italy has some angle to this.  So then a rescue boat appears at that coordinate, and 'saves' the migrants.  Then they transport them to some Italian island, and dump them off.  The rescue folks smile and wave.....talking about their great part in this magnificent story.

Italy came up and they said there really needs to be transparency in this whole rescue game.  There needs to be a 'code of conduct'.

You can imagine the shock on the faces of the charity and rescue folks.

The Italians want cops or federal officials on board the rescue vessels.  Then they want the finances of these rescue vessels and their organizations to be in plain view (transparent would be a good word to use).  The Italians also said there needs to be a talk about Libyan territorial waters (where it starts and ends)....because they kinda hinted that it seems like rescues are taking place in territorial waters, and if so.....well...you'd take the migrants back into Libya.

There are nine of these charity groups which operate the rescue vessels.  Oddly enough....after this meeting...ONLY ONE single group agreed to the code of conduct suggested.

The other eight?  Nothing.  The journalists from ARD didn't ask them any questions and you'd sit and ponder over their lack of interest in this code of conduct.

Why avoid it?  If there were cops onboard....they'd obviously figure out that you were getting a radio call or telephone call....with pre-set coordinates.....meaning you were part of the smuggling ring (don't dare suggest this to the news media).

The money side of this?  You wouldn't want any government poking around and figuring out that a quarter of your budget to run the vessel....is mafia-tainted money or comes from some foundation.

The talk about the territorial waters? This would typically mean 22 kilometers out from the coast.

We aren't to any point yet where the rescue vessels will be refused entry into Italian ports....but you can sense that come 20 May 2018....the next Italian election....that some change will occur, and it might not be so friendly toward the smuggling crowd or the rescue folks.

If the Italians really wanted to change the pace of this business....as the rescue vessel came into an Italian port....they'd demand a full review of the logs, a check-out of the crew (health exams), and a delay tactic built into the port visit (making the vessel anchor down for three weeks before it can leave again).  It'd anger the rescue crowd greatly if you limited them to just one rescue per month, but obviously.....there is more to this whole rescue business than people let on.

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