by Andrew Walden
A February 21, 2017 Caldwell administration news release touting the appointment of Jim Howe to head the Honolulu Emergency Services Department includes this tidbt:
“Most recently, Howe provided consulting services to the ProActiva Open Arms program, which helps rescue European-bound refugees from treacherous ocean waters who are fleeing war, persecution or poverty.”
“ProActiva Open Arms” sounds humanitarian but some in Europe see it as a human trafficking scheme run by mercenaries and intelligence operatives intended to keep refugees from overrunning tiny Malta. The Guardian May 3, 2016 explains: “The Maltese immigration crisis is a decade ahead of the rest of Europe. It began in 2002, during the fierce fighting of the Somali civil war, peaked in 2004 when Malta joined the EU, and ended – eerily, abruptly, and so far without a decent explanation – just as the main European crisis was beginning in 2015.”
Some Trump supporters see the hijrah as a George Soros funded plan to destabilize Europe which backfired leading to the election of nationalists—including Donald Trump—in country after country throughout the West.
Here is the rundown on ProActiva, and its ships Golfo Azuro and Astral, from anti-EU European think-tank GEFIRA:
GEFIRA December 4, 2016: NGOs are smuggling immigrants into Europe on an industrial scale
For two months, using marinetraffic.com, we have been monitoring the movements of ships owned by a couple of NGOs. Using data from data.unhcr.org., we have kept track of the daily arrivals of African immigrants in Italy. It turned out we were witness to a big scam and an illegal human traffic operation.
NGOs, smugglers, the mafia in cahoots with the European Union have shipped thousands of illegals into Europe under the pretext of rescuing people, assisted by the Italian coast guard which coordinated their activities.
Human traffickers contact the Italian coast guard in advance to receive support and to pick up their dubious cargo. NGO ships are directed to the “rescue spot” even as those to be rescued are still in Libya. The 15 ships that we observed are owned or leased by NGOs have regularly been seen to leave their Italian ports, head south, stop short of reaching the Libyan coast, pick up their human cargo, and take course back 260 miles to Italy even though the port of Zarzis in Tunis is just 60 miles away from the rescue spot.
The organizations in question are: MOAS, Jugend Rettet, Stichting Bootvluchting, Médecins Sans Frontières, Save the Children, Proactiva Open Arms, Sea-Watch.org, Sea-Eye and Life Boat.
The real intention of the people behind the NGOs is not clear. We would not be surprised if their motive were money. They may also be politically driven; the activities of the Malta-based organisation, MOAS, by trafficking people to Italy is the best guarantee that migrants will not show up on the Maltese shore. MOAS is managed by an Maltese Marine officer well known in Malta for his maltreatment of refugees 1)
GEFIRA November 16, 2016: NGOs Armada operating off the coast of Libya
Ships permanently used by NGOs off the Libyan coast … Proactiva Open Arms operates the Astral. We spotted the Astral many times in Libyan territorial waters. The ship disappeared on a regular basis from the AIS tracking websites. Website: Proactiva Open Arms.
GEFIRA November 15, 2016: Caught in the act: NGOs deal in migrant smuggling
On the evening of 12 October at 21:15, 113 people were picked up 8.5 nautical miles off the Libyan Mellitah Complex, by four NGO ships; the Phoenix, the Astral, the Iuventa and the Golfo Azzurro. At that moment these four ships were within the territorial waters of Libya.
During this transport, 17 persons were reported missing, including a three-year-old child.
Wednesday 12 October eight o’clock in the morning, the Italian coast guard informed the Golfo Azzurro about the coming “rescue” operation, 10 to 12 hours in advance; they directed the Golfo Azzurro to a location within the Libyan territorial waters. Eveline Rethmeier, a Dutch journalist, was on board of the Golfo Azzurro. At 20:23 (UTC time 18:23) she posted a video were ‘Chief of the Mission’ Mateo told the crew something was coming. In her blog she wrote: “At eight o’clock in the morning we got the messages that there is a ship with problems 30 nautical miles away from us. The Italian coast guard asked assistance in the area. We were briefed by ‘Chief of the Mission’ Mateo. He told us that we should be prepared for guests.”
The Italian coast guard did not only direct the Golfo Azzurro to the Libyan territorial waters but also the Phoenix, the Astral and the Iuventa. According to the Malta Today: “It was around 7 pm (12 October) when the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre in Rome contacted Phoenix. Still, it was only at 9.20pm that the rubber boat was sighted by making use of the Schiebel drones on board the Phoenix. In cooperation with the other search-and-rescue NGOs in the area, a rescue operation was swiftly launched.” The Golfo Azzurro was told at 8.00 AM that there was a ship with problems while the Phoenix was contacted 10 to 11 hours later!
ProActiva in Mediterranean