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Facebook investigating ads from smugglers promising EU entry

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By Jennifer Faull, Deputy Editor

April 3, 2016 | 2 min read

Facebook is investigating an advert promising entry into the European Union that people smugglers recently ran on its site.

First spotted by The Guardian, the advert targeted would-be migrants to buy a ticket for a new boat route departing from Turkey and landing in Italy. A single ticket cost around £2,800.

“The trip is on Saturday, from Mersin to Italy, on a merchant ship 110 metres long, equipped with food, water, life jackets and medicine,” the post reportedly said.

It appeared after Turkey agreed with the EU this month to return migrants and refugees who cross illegally to Greece.

Facebook, which has become a common tool used by smugglers to target people fleeing the Middle East and surrounding areas, said it was investigating the origins of the advert.

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