Smugglers who transport migrants from North Africa across the Mediterranean to Europe are said to have given many of them a mixture of diesel and other substances to keep them quiet.
A new report ffrommedical staff at the University of Munich’s University Hospital has shown that the people smugglers have plied many migrants with a mixture of diesel oil and other ingredients in an effort to calm them at sea, but the results in at least one case have been fatal. The scientific journal The Lancet described the effects of the mixture on three young migrants reports Bild.
The three subjects mentioned in the journal are three African men aged 16, 18 and 21. The report states that the three migrants arrived in Europe with severe medical issues. Tests revealed that all three showed symptoms of hyperventilation, severe flow of mucus and major oxygen deficiency in their blood. Two of the migrants also had fever symptoms.
The physicians attempted to treat the trio for what they thought might be the cause but as they administered the treatment the condition of the migrants rapidly deteriorated. One by one they were admitted to the intensive care unit, but one migrant was not fortunate enough to make it in time and died of acute organ failure.
After trying to determine the cause of the symptoms and combat the migrants’ rapidly worsening condition, the doctors examined the medical history of the two remaining men. The discovery they made shocked them when they realized that the migrants had been fed diesel oil, which they blamed as the cause of the symptoms.
When ingested diesel oil can have a variety of effects on the human body from simple unconsciousness, the likely goal of the people smugglers, to hallucinations and severe pulmonary infections.
While much of the international attention has been focused on the record number of migrants crossing from North Africa to Europe, many details of the journeys endured by the migrants at the hands of people smugglers are less well known. In one such case the mobile phone of a people smuggler caught by Italian police revealed horrific images.
Italian police say that the phone contained evidence that smugglers were harvesting the organs of migrants and even was said to show the smugglers engaging in cannibalism.
There is also a looming threat to many of the migrants who are unable to pay back the money to the smugglers, who often tell them that they will easily be able to make the money in Europe. Some migrants from Africa have been forced into prostitution to pay these debts, including children.