The ´World´s most wanted´ human trafficker arrested

The ´World´s most wanted´ human trafficker arrested

Kidane Zekarias Habtemariam - Image Netherlands police

The “World´s most wanted” human trafficker has been arrested after international efforts were stepped up and a bounty offered for information on his whereabouts.

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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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

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. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at