Smugglers promote on Facebook as migrant deaths up
UNITED NATIONS — The aid group tracking thousands of migrant deaths in risky boat crossings of the Mediterranean says it knows of at least 50 Facebook pages where smugglers advertise their services.
An International Organization for Migration spokesman told reporters Wednesday that the smugglers are sometimes foolish enough to post the time and place of departure.
Leonard Doyle says more than 3,180 people have died so far this year while trying to cross the Mediterranean, often while fleeing conflicts in the Middle East or Africa. He calls that an absolute outrage. More than 4,460 migrants have died worldwide.
Doyle says smuggling groups make up to $2 million per shipment of migrants.
The IOM bases its death toll on news reports and other publicly available data and says the actual count is higher.
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