Police in Sicily say they have arrested a Somali man who allegedly organized a ship crossing of migrants from northern Africa to Europe that ended in a shipwreck off a southern Italian island that killed more than 365 people.
The boat packed with more than 500 migrants, mostly Eritreans, capsized Oct. 3 near Lampedusa, resulting in one of the highest verified death tolls among migrant ship disasters in the Mediterranean.
Police said Friday they have arrested Mouhamud Elmi Muhidin, 34, who now faces charges of kidnapping, sexual assault, people trafficking and criminal association with the goal of aiding illegal immigration. The suspect was identified by survivors.
Authorities also detained a 47-year-old Palestinian for allegedly aiding illegal migration.
Authorities previously arrested a Tunisian believed to have been the ship's captain.
Since the Oct, 3 sinking, there have other similar disasters in the same area involving migrant ships, including one on Oct. 11 in which at least 27 people died.