Daily Trust

Govt says it holds U.N.-sanctioned alleged people smuggler


Libya’s internatio­nally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) has detained Abdalrahma­n alMilad, a coastguard commander sanctioned by the United Nations for alleged human traffickin­g and migrant smuggling, its interior ministry said yesterday.

The ministry said it had detained Milad at the request of the U.N. Security Council and that it had referred the case to the public prosecutor to take legal measures against him.

Milad heads a coastguard unit in Zawiya, just west of Tripoli, and was one of six people sanctioned by the U.N. for involvemen­t in people traffickin­g or smuggling in Libya two years ago. Migrants had testified that they had been taken to a detention centre on one of the ships used by Milad and were then held in brutal conditions and beaten. He denied any wrongdoing or involvemen­t in smuggling in a phone call to Reuters in 2018.

Smugglers have been able to make vast profits by exploiting a security vacuum in Libya since the 2011 NATO-backed uprising that toppled Muammar Gaddafi and left many state institutio­ns under the control of armed groups.

Libya has been divided since 2014 between the GNA in Tripoli and the eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) of Khalifa Haftar.

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