One of the world’s most wanted people-smuggler Mered Medhanie has been extradited to Italy where he will appear before a judge.
Nicknamed “The General”, Medhanie is said to be the mastermind of an international smuggling network that is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of refugees in the Mediterranean.
The Eritrean national was arrested on May 24 in Sudan after investigators from Britain’s National Crime Agency tracked him down to a hideout in Khartoum.
Italian news agency said Medhanie was accused of being the leader and organiser of one of the largest criminal groups operating between Central Africa and Libya.
He is accused of being responsible for the deaths of 359 people who drowned when their boat sank off the Italian island of Lampedusa in 2013.
He has also been accused of being the organiser of a transnational criminal conspiracy aimed at smuggling human beings from Africa to Italy, and on to northern Europe and the UK.
More than 10,000 people are also believed to have died in the Mediterranean since the start of 2014, some off the Italian coast and others seeking to reach Greece. Aid agency Doctors Without Borders estimated that 900 died last week alone.