Italy seeks to intercept migrant ship feared drifting

 Italy`s navy on Tuesday scrambled a helicopter to intercept a cargo ship that officers suspected had been abandoned by people smugglers with hundreds of migrants on board.

Rome: Italy`s navy on Tuesday scrambled a helicopter to intercept a cargo ship that officers suspected had been abandoned by people smugglers with hundreds of migrants on board.

The ship, the Moldovan-flagged Blue Sky M, had earlier sparked an alert in Greek territorial waters by issuing a distress signal amid reports there were gunmen on board.

Greek officials said an inspection of the boat had found that it was not suffering from any mechanical problems and that it was not transporting would-be illegal immigrants to Europe.

As a result it was allowed to continue its journey towards Italy, where coastguard officials said they suspected it did in fact have a cargo of migrants and was advancing towards the coast on autopilot.

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