CAIRO, March 26 (Xinhua) -- An Egyptian court sentenced 56 people to 2 to 13 years in prison over a migrant shipwreck that killed 203 people last year, state-run MENA news agency reported.
The defendants were accused of involuntary manslaughter, fraud and illegal employment of workers, according to MENA.
In September last year, a migrant boat bound for Italy drowned near the coast of Egypt's northern Beheira province with some 600 people onboard.
The European Union's border agency Frontex warned that growing numbers of migrants bound for Europe were turning to Egypt as a departure point for the sea voyage.
Illegal migration via Egyptian Mediterranean Sea shores rose over the past few years in attempts to reach Europe and flee difficult economic conditions in the most populous Arab country.