The Malta Independent 18 June 2019, Tuesday

Watch: Website Corpi d'elite claims Syrians entering Malta from near abandoned Jerma Palace Hotel

Sunday, 20 December 2015, 10:26 Last update: about 4 years ago

Website Corpi d'elite has published an article following an eight-month investigation, claiming that it has uncovered a people smuggling ring that uses the dilapidated Jerma Hotel in Marsaskala as a drop off point.

The website said that it had first received information about the operation back in March, when Syrian nationals gave information claiming to have used the Jerma Palace as an entry point to Malta. The migrants said they arrived in Maltese territorial waters aboard small boats and berthed at the small quay which was part of the hotel grounds. They told Corpi d elite that they arrived at a1am and that they were picked up by relatives already in Malta.

One woman Syrian woman, accompanied by her three children claimed to have paid €4,000 to a Libyan smuggler in return for passage to Malta.  She told the website that the boat she was on could carry 10-12 passengers. She said she was picked up from the Jerma Palace by her husband.

Corpi d'elite decided to form a Studies and Observation Group and carried out a Sensitive Site Exploration to try and establish some facts.

Searches of the area yielded a number of discarded items of clothing, some also belonging to children. Further investigation showed that stones had been placed to facilitate access to sheltered areas. Other stones were placed to allow access to a platform leading to the public toilets. 

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