Migrants on the tragic boat that capsized off the coast of Mauritania were reported to have paid D35, 000 each for the trip according to sources.

The illegal trip was said to have been organised by Ousman Bahoum, popularly known as Move Up and Sanna Marong. It was alleged that Ousman provided the unseaworthy boat and captains for the trip.

It was also alleged that the smugglers made more than D4 million from the failed trip which was an open secret to the residents of Barra. Some of the migrants from Barra were said to have travelled free after helping the smugglers with recruiting passengers.

Allegations of bribery were reported to have been made to some rogue officials to evade detection by the authorities.

The alleged smugglers, Ousman Bahoum and Sanna Marong were on the run according to sources.

The boat believed to be carrying 195 migrants left the coastal town of Barra in the North Bank Region of The Gambia on November 27 en route to Spain’s Canary Island. 

63 migrants mostly Gambians drowned and 83 were rescued after the boat capsized off the Mauritanian Coast. 47 migrants are still missing. 

The migrant boat tragedy is the single biggest loss of Gambian lives since the illegal migration route to Europe started in 2012.

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