Wednesday, 1 April 2015 - 16:20
Dutch surveil Mediterranean for illegal migration, human trafficking
Frontex, the agency that oversees the European Union's border control, asked the Netherlands to deploy a coast guard plane to Italy for surveillance over the Mediterranean Sea, the Royal Military Police stated on their Facebook page on Wednesday. Throughout April, the aircraft will be tasked with mapping and reporting on illegal migration flows from North Africa to Europe. Triton, as the Frontex project is called, is a joint operation intended to manage migration in the Central Mediterranean. The Royal Military Police, the Koninklijke Marechaussee, is leading the Netherlands' participation in the operation through the Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice. The military police will surveil the waters of the Mediterranean together with the Dutch Navy, the Dutch Air Force and Sicilian customs authorities. Air force and navy pilots, military police and customs observers and an Italian authorities' liaison officer are all expected aboard the aircraft. In the event of an emergency, the coast guard plane can also be deployed for search and rescue operations that fall in line with international requirements.