Each Captain Morgan vessel chartered by the government to accommodate migrants rescued by Armed Forces of Malta is costing around €3,000 daily.

The figure was divulged in parliament on Monday by Prime Minister Robert Abela in reply to a question by Justice Shadow Minister Jason Azzopardi.

The government opted for this solution in the wake of its decision not to take in any migrants following the decision to close all of the island’s ports due to the coronavirus pandemic.

On May 1, the government announced that a group of 56 migrants who had been rescued within Malta’s search and rescue area would be accommodated indefinitely on a Captain Morgan tourist boat.

The move followed criticism that the government was leaving migrant in distress out at sea, including vulnerable people like children and pregnant women. 

On May 7, the government was forced to dispatch a second Captain Morgan vessel this time to house around 120 migrants who were also rescued by the Armed Forces. A small group of these migrants were brought to Malta as they needed medical treatment.

Throughout this crisis, the prime minister has insisted Malta was abiding by international obligations to coordinate rescues but is not in a position to accommodate any migrants.

Meanwhile, Malta has applied for EU funding to help cover these costs but this request may be rejected until it can find a legal way for people aboard to apply for asylum.

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