Migrant dinghies available on-line for less than 1,000 euros

Manufacturers know what they are for, Oggi report says

(ANSA) - Rome, September 15 - The flimsy dinghies used by people smugglers to transport migrants and refugees to Italy and Greece can be purchased on-line for just a few hundred euros according to an investigation published by Italian weekly Oggi Tuesday.
    To buy a dinghy "it is sufficient to log onto a Chinese e-commerce platform such as Alibaba.com," the report said.
    "A 10-m boat can cost less than 1,000 euros and is delivered in 10 days". A salesman told the reporter the dinghies could be sent to Tunisia and that the minimum order was for five.
    "The model measuring 10m costs 1,260 dollars and if you opt for a thinner PVC you can save money," he is quoted as saying.
    The people smugglers now prefer such vessels because they can be easily concealed pending use and are easy and cheap to procure, the magazine said. "The material is of very poor quality, the structure extremely weak and the gluing approximate," said Italian dinghy manufacturer Umberto Capelli.
    "This is why they sink so often," he added.
    "The manufacturers know what they are for, because for all other purposes they are useless," Capelli said.
    On Tuesday the International Organisation for Migration said 2,812 migrants and refugees were known to have drowned since the start of this year while attempting the sea crossing from north Africa or Turkey in search of safety or a better life in Europe. Passengers typically pay hundreds of dollars per head for the passage.


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