By Sami Zaptia.
London, 10 October 2016:
The RADA (Special Deterrence Force SDF) has revealed that it has arrested one of the leading smugglers of alcohol and illegal migrants in the Girgarish area of Tripoli.
In a video confession, the accused, Ashraf Al-Zayet admitted that he had had a previous conviction for the smuggling of illegal migrants pre 2011.
He had been released with thousands of other prisoners from the Al-Ruwaimy prison by the Qaddafi regime in a last ditched and politically calculated move aimed at stemming the 2011 revolution.
In the video Al-Zayet said that because he lived on the beach in Girgarish he used to receive illegal migrants who he would hold in transit. He admitted to inflating inflatable boats to load migrants on them before setting them off into the sea.
He said he cooperated with three other accomplices (who he named) from Tajura, Zliten and Zuwara from whom he had received illegal migrants.
Al-Zayet said that he used to receive between LD 8,000 to LD 12,000 per boat he had sent into the sea.
The arrest and video confession reveals a number of interesting factors. First that there is a link between the smuggling of alcohol and the dealing in illegal migration. Secondly, the fact that a leading smuggler of illegal migration can live on a sea side house in Girgarish and evade capture by authorities highlights the ineffectiveness of the security apparatus in Tripoli.
Al-Zayet’s admission that he had partners located both to the east and west of Tripoli also shows that the trade in human beings is a nationwide phenomenon that needs concerted and nationwide action to eradicate.