44 Nigerian migrants repatriated

A group of 44 Nigerians were deported to their country this afternoon on an Air Malta charter flight.

The flight was coordinated between the Home Affairs Ministry and the police.

The 33 men and 11 women had their request for asylum considered inadmissible and their appeal was not accepted since Nigeria is considered a safe country, the Home Affairs Ministry said.

Most of the migrants had arrived in Malta last year. They were housed in detention centres.

Each deported person was escorted by two police officers. The flight to Lagos also included a medical team.

The operation was carried out after Nigerian authorities sent the necessary travel documents. Most of the expenses involved were covered by the European Union.

Home Affairs Minister Carm Mifsud Bonnici thanked the police for the success of the operation.

He said Malta offered protection to those who deserved it. It also worked to relocate  migrants to other countries where they could have a better future.

However, those who did not qualify for protection had to be repatriated.