Malta navy rescues 271 migrants from Mediterranean

Malta is a popular destination for migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean. (File/AFP)
Updated 05 June 2019
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Malta navy rescues 271 migrants from Mediterranean

  • Authorities took the rescued individuals to Malta for health checks
  • The country appealed to the EU for help

VALLETTA, Malta: Malta’s navy said on Wednesday that it had rescued a total of 271 migrants from the Mediterranean in three separate operations.
The navy rescued 63 migrants in distress after their dinghy started to take in water overnight, a statement said.
A patrol boat rescued another 61 migrants after they made a distress call, and then 147 more in a third rescue, the navy said, without providing further details.
The rescued migrants were taken to Malta for health checks.
Malta has appealed to the EU for help in dealing with the flow of migrants, which its much larger neighbor Italy has begun to turn away.
Italy’s hard-line stance has increased pressure on the island nation of 450,000 people, which was already a common destination for migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean from North Africa.


India seizes one ton of ketamine on boat, arrests six Myanmar crew

Updated 12 min 1 sec ago

India seizes one ton of ketamine on boat, arrests six Myanmar crew

  • India’s coast guard seized $42 million worth of ketamine

NEW DELHI: India’s coast guard has arrested six Myanmar men and seized $42 million worth of ketamine after spotting a suspicious vessel in the Indian Ocean near the Nicobar Islands.
The 1,160-kilogram drug haul came after coast guard aircraft spotted the boat, which had its lights off, on Wednesday in India’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the defense ministry said in a statement.
The boat’s crew did not respond to radio calls and the coast guard eventually boarded it, with officials finding “57 gunny bundles of suspicious substance” on Friday.
“Preliminary analysis ... revealed that the suspicious substance was ketamine and there were 1,160 packets of 1kg each onboard the vessel,” the ministry added.
The six Myanmar men and cargo were taken to Port Blair, the capital of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, where they were questioned by investigators.
They claimed they left Myanmar on September 14 and were due to rendezvous with another boat “operating near the Thailand-Malaysia maritime border line” on Saturday, the statement said.
The Nicobar Islands are located near Southeast Asia, off Myanmar’s coast.
Parts of Myanmar, Laos and Thailand are in the lawless “Golden Triangle” zone, the world’s second-largest drug-producing region after Latin America.
Large amounts drugs such as heroin and methamphetamine are churned out in remote jungle labs each year and smuggled across Asia and beyond.