Groups that have called for stricter immigration limits have said the raids are long overdue, although they remain skeptical about whether the scale will be large enough to deter illegal immigration from Central America.
Authorities arrested the Costa Rican driver of the bus carrying the Cubans, identified by the last name Echeverría. He was arrested on human trafficking charges and sent to a flagrancy court, according to the statement.
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has described the traffickers who packed their human cargo into the boat as akin to 18th-century slave traders. Hundreds of the victims, including an unknown number of children, will have died in hellish circumstances having been locked in the hold or the middle deck of the 20-meter boat.
Some 11,000 migrants have been rescued since the middle of last week alone and current trends suggest last year's total of 170,000 landing in Italy is likely to be exceeded in 2015. The issue of who handles these migrants -- for asylum or repatriation -- is hugely sensitive, with Italy complaining that its E.U. partners are not doing enough.