CID to issue red alert on Interpol to catch Bangladeshi human traffickers
04:13 PM, October 04, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 06:49 PM, October 04, 2020

CID to issue red alert on Interpol to catch Bangladeshi human traffickers

Criminal Investigation Department (CID) will issue a red alert on Interpol by this week to catch Bangladeshi human traffickers based in Libya, who were responsible for the massacre that happened back in May.

"We will issue the alert regarding 10-20 people," said Syeda Zannat Ara, Special Superintendent of Police (Serious Crimes and Homicide Squad), speaking at a press briefing at the CID headquarters yesterday.

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Also present at the press briefing were nine survivors of the massacre that happened at the end of May in a camp run by human traffickers in Mizdah town of Libya.  Twenty-six Bangladeshi nationals were killed in the incident that took place in a smuggling warehouse in Mizdah near the city of Gharyan, southwest of Tripoli.

The survivors came back on a special flight on September 30. There were a total of 12 survivors but three are yet to return to Bangladesh, informed Zannat Ara.

"We will talk to the survivors and identify who the foreign agents involved in the trafficking chain are," said Ara.

The law enforcers informed that a total of 26 cases have been filed in this regard -- of them 15 were filed by CID.  A total of 44 people have been arrested in these cases.

"We have already spoken to the families of the 26 who died. Their families were the ones who filed the cases, and they informed us about the identities of the local traffickers. A lion's share of them have been arrested," said Zannat Ara.  

The nine survivors carried on them horrific signs of torture – many had freshly healed bullet wounds, some had battered limbs, and one survivor was permanently disabled and had to move on crutches.

"The incident happened on May 27 around 11:00am," narrated one survivor, Janu Miah. "The mafia had come to our camp to physically torture us – this was a daily routine, of course, but that day they indiscriminately tortured us."

"There were around 100 to 150 people from Ghana, Nigeria and Sudan, among whom around 30-35 were women. The Libyan mafia started by beating them up…and on that day, they retaliated. They killed a member of the mafia," he narrated.

The other members of the mafia called for reinforcements, who came and started a brushfire on all migrants, he said. "That is how 26 of us died, and 12 of us got injured."

The CID shared a video of the incident obtained from the survivors, with the journalists. The video begins with the image of a body being dragged along mosaic floor with floral motifs. Men carrying weapons walked about. Most of the video was shot in the dark, indoors, with the only light coming from a parked car.

Throughout the video, people shouted in Arabic. "One person from the mafia took us to a hospital but the doctor refused to see us, saying that there is no chance of survival. The hospital provided an ambulance for another hospital, and they too refused to see us," said Janu Miah, addressing the journalists. He himself survived two bullet wounds in the stomach.

"Around dawn, they left us in a garbage heap in the desert. We walked around 2 to 3 kilometres in that wounded state and found a house of a Sudanese camel-herder. He gave us shelter and got the locals to call the militia of that area. The militia came, took us away in their vehicles and admitted us to Tripoli University Medical College," he narrated.

This hospital too refused to give them emergency treatment, he claimed. "We had to wait until the Bangladeshi embassy came before treatment begun. My surgery was done at 1 am in the night."  

Following the briefing, the survivors were taken to Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's court to give their statements about what happened in Libya.


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