Italian police have detained five people in an operation in Agrigento, Catania, Milano, Rome and Turin in a probe into the October 3, 2013 migrant boat disaster off Lampedusa that killed 366 people.
Another four arrest warrants were issued but the persons were declared fugitives: two in Africa, one in Sweden and the fourth in Rome, reports ANSA.
Migrants aboard the boat underwent continuous physical violence and reiterated torture as well as repeated rape, including gang rape, reported the news agency citing police statements after arresting the five traffickers Tuesday.
The arrests came the same day as statements from Palermo prosecutors saying anti-immigration policies adopted by the majority of host countries are a boon for human traffickers. The arrests came a day after a fresh migrant disaster that shook Italy and put renewed pressure on the EU to do more to help out.
Roughly 30 bodies, suffocated or drowned, were found aboard a migrant boat crammed with nearly 600 passengers as it was escorted to safety.