Sunday, September 13, 2009

Costa Rica seizes migrant ship

(Photo: Jose Diaz/La Nacion)By Charles Scanlon
BBC News

Officials in Costa Rica have said that a boat with 54 African migrants on board has been intercepted off the country's Caribbean coast.

A security ministry spokesman said three men on the boat had been charged with trafficking offences.

Officials said the boat was in a poor condition and that those on board had not eaten anything for several days.

They believe the 54 migrants, including seven women, came from Eritrea and had paid traffickers to reach the US.

Several boats bringing migrants from the Horn of Africa and Guinea have been seized in the area in recent months.

The authorities say that the traffickers - who charge thousands of dollars for the trip - sometimes abandon them in the Caribbean rather than risk trying to land in the US.

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