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Who Are The Mediterranean Migrant Smugglers?

Migrants who were hoping to reach Europe by boat sit at Abu Salim detention centre for illegal migrants in the Libyan capital Tripoli on April 21, 2015, after they were detained at a Libyan port as they waited inside a boat to cross the Mediterranean Sea, according to Libyan security forces. (Mahmud Turkia/AFP/Getty Images)
Migrants who were hoping to reach Europe by boat sit at Abu Salim detention centre for illegal migrants in the Libyan capital Tripoli on April 21, 2015, after they were detained at a Libyan port as they waited inside a boat to cross the Mediterranean Sea, according to Libyan security forces. (Mahmud Turkia/AFP/Getty Images)

Europe is struggling to stop the record number of migrants making their way across the Mediterranean with the hope of escaping violence, civil war and poverty.

Those numbers are rising dramatically, and so are the numbers of those who die at sea, with some groups like the International Organization of Migration saying the figure could rise to 30,000.

As European leaders look to ways that could stop the dying, they are looking at the men who are sending migrants on their journeys. Who are these smugglers? And how do they run their lucrative operations?

Here & Now’s Robin Young speaks with Italian criminologist Andrea Di Nicola who spent two years traveling with the traffickers.

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