Coast Guard Claims No Arrest Warrant Issued for Trafficker Al-Bija – Al Marsad

According to Nova News Agency, the Libyan Coast Guard in the Western Region of Libya has not received any arrest warrant for the human trafficker and fuel smuggler, Abdul Rahman Milad, known as al-Bija. The UN Security Council-sanctioned al-Bija is classified as one of the most notorious human traffickers in the world. 

[Libya, 30 October 2019] – Mohammed Saqer, the Libyan Coast Guard Western Region Directorate’s In-Charge said that his administration did not receive any arrest warrant against Abdul Rahman Milad, or al-Bija, member of the Libyan Coast Guard in the western coastal city of Zawiya. This is the first response to the opposite statement issued by the Minister of the Interior of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), Fathi Bashagha, in which the Minister said they had written to the Libyan Coast Guard and informed them that al-Bija is wanted by the Public Prosecutor in Tripoli.

Saqer, the Libyan Coast Guard Western Region Directorate’s In-Charge, confirmed that al-Bija is conducting his work as usual in the Libyan Coast Guard branch in Zawiya.

Mr. Saqer claimed that the Libyan officer accused of committing violence against migrants has no relation whatsoever with human trafficking, considering the charges against his comrade al-Bija as utterly baseless and based on rumors to discredit the Libyan Coast Guard establishment. The Libyan official stressed that “the accusations against al-Bija are baseless and are based on widespread rumours to smear his image.”

The UN-sanctioned Abdul Rahman Milad (al-Bija)

It should be recalled that the Ministry of the Interior of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) issued a clarification statement on Saturday on the appearance of Abdul Rahman Milad, a UN sanctioned human trafficker and fuel smuggler known as al-Bija, in an interview with La7, the Italian TV news network, while wearing the official uniform of the of the Libyan Coast Guard that reports to the GNA Naval Forces. The Ministry stated that Abdul Rahman Milad, who assumes an official post with the Libyan Coast Guard in Zawiya, is a wanted person.

Mohammed Saqer said that “the affiliates of the GNA Libyan Naval Forces are doing their best to fight illegal immigration despite all the challenges they face such as harassments from NGOs operating off the coast of Libya, which contribute mainly to increasing migration across the Mediterranean, and threaten the lives of migrants.”

Mr. Saqer revealed that they have reached out to the President of the UN-backed Presidential Council, Fayez al-Sarraj, to remove the name al-Bija from the UN Security Council sanctions list and to clear any misunderstandings in that connection.

These contradictory statements by the GNA and GNA-aligned institutions are being noticed by international authorities. For example, Vincent Cochetel, the Special Envoy of the UNHCR for the Central Mediterranean situation, referring to a recent special report published by Al Marsad, commented on the institutionalisation of criminality and human trafficking.

@ Al Marsad English (2019)


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