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Parliamentary question - P-001262/2023Parliamentary question

Cham Wings chartered flights to smuggle Bangladeshi nationals into Europe via Libya

Priority question for written answer  P-001262/2023
to the Commission
Rule 138
Cyrus Engerer (S&D)

Data available to the Commission shows that a large number of Bangladeshi nationals are entering the EU irregularly via the central Mediterranean route. They are ranked among the three most common arrivals transiting through Libya, though they are not geographically linked. The numbers suggest that there is an extensive smuggling network. The European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) has reported a 51 % increase in irregular arrivals from this route last year.

On 2 April 2023, Maltatoday published an article about criminal groups using flights chartered by Cham Wings between Damascus and Benghazi to smuggle Bangladeshis into Europe. Cham Wings has been blacklisted by the EU in the past, but was eventually delisted. Information presented to the Council showed that Cham Wings had ceased its smuggling activities to Belarus, which had been the reason for its blacklisting. According to information provided by the Maltese Government, this activity has shifted to the Mediterranean route, and this is backed by intelligence.

Submitted: 19.4.2023

Last updated: 20 April 2023
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