Egypt's state-run news agency says authorities have arrested a man accused of attempting to smuggle 109 people across the Mediterranean Sea to Europe.

MENA said Thursday that authorities had been searching for the man since they intercepted a fishing boat with 78 people of different nationalities, along with crew members. It did not say when the interception took place. MENA says the man also attempted to smuggle 27 Sudanese and four Egyptians, who were found while boarding a boat heading to Europe in July.

MENA says the man has confessed to the accusations.

Hundreds of migrants and refugees have perished in recent months while trying to reach Europe on boats run by smuggler rings in Egypt and neighboring Libya.