ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — An Ethiopian official says 200 human smugglers have been detained as part of the government's efforts to stem the number of citizens illegally trying to migrate to Europe.
Ethiopian Federal Affairs Minister Shiferaw Teklemariam told the Ethiopian News Agency late Sunday that the government is looking for 80 other human smugglers who are suspected of conducting overseas operations.
Ethiopia, along with neighbor Eritrea, is the source of many of the migrants making the perilous journey by sea to Europe, often via Sudan and then Libya.
Ethiopia's government recently said it is drafting a new law that would carry stiffer penalties against those convicted of human smuggling.
Ethiopia's current laws stipulate prison terms ranging from five to 20 years for crimes related to human smuggling and fines not exceeding $2,500.