EUNAVFOR vessels seize 98 vessels, arrest 58 smugglers in Op Sophia

Since EUNAVFOR’s mission to tackle human trafficking and smuggling in the Central Mediterranean Sea and off the coast of Libya entered its second phase, Op Sophia ships have seized 98 vessels and helped arrest 58 suspect smugglers.

The Op Sophia mission started June 22, 2015 with the first phase of operation aimed at gathering intelligence on smuggler routes and networks.

On October 7, the mission entered its second phase in which naval vessels were authorized to conduct boarding, search, seizure and diversion, on the high seas, of vessels suspected of being used for human smuggling or trafficking.

Ships from Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Slovenia collaborated with a number of European authority agencies to save a total of 11509 migrants since mission launch on June 22, 2015.