....Italy Makes Arrests in Immigrant Case PALERMO, Sicily - Italian authorities arrested two German aid officials whose ship transported 37 African immigrants to Sicily, news reports said Monday. Also, officials said their initial checks indicated that the African asylum-seekers were not predominantly Sudanese as several aid agencies claimed they were told, but probably from Ghana and Nigeria, the ANSA news agency reported.
After heavy pressure from relief organizations, Italy agreed Monday to allow the German aid agency's ship to board in Sicily. The Africans were driven to a holding center, while authorities took in for questioning the captain, Stefan Schmidt, and the organization head, Elias Bierdel.
Both were later arrested as part of an investigation into aiding illegal immigration, the AGI news agency said.