By Peter McLaren-Kennedy • 07 January 2023 • 8:53
Kidane Zekarias Habtemariam - Image Netherlands police
According to the news site France 24 on Saturday, January 7 Kidane Zekarias Habtemariam was arrested in Sudan where he had been hiding after fleeing Ethiopia.
Habtemariam was convicted by a court in Ethiopia of extortion, kidnapping, and torturing migrants to death in Libya. But he is also wanted in Italy, the Netherlands, Libya and the Middle East.
Held at a courthouse in Ethiopia the fugitive escaped by asking to go to the bathroom and then simply walking out of the premises.
Using the fall of Gaddafi, Habtemariam set up a cruel and violent criminal organisation that made millions out of trafficking people. His racket targeted migrants attempting to reach Europe, kidnapping them and holding them at a large warehouse staffed with Libyan guards in Bani Walid, southeast of Tripoli.
The gang then contacted family members asking for extortionate ransoms and according to survivors if the family could not pay, you were simply “put to death.”
Bani Walid became known as Ghost Town among migrants due to the many migrants who simply disappeared after being taken there.
The capture of the “World´s most wanted” human trafficker will be widely welcomed and is a testament to what can be achieved when Interpol and countries work together.
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Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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