Kidnapped Militia Leader Reveals Syrians and Libyans in Cocaine Struggle Inside Bashagha’s Interior Ministry – Al Marsad

A video published by Mus’ab Al-Batsha, a leading member of the Tripoli Revolutionaries Brigade affiliated to the Government of National Accord (GNA) who was kidnapped by another GNA-affiliated militia leader, sheds light on what is really happening inside the Fathi Bashagha’s Ministry of Interior, and how Syrian mercenaries are involved in inter-militia conflict and crime.

Photo of some of the cocaine seized by Mus’ab al-Batsha before it was smuggled by Al-Baksta, who is also affiliated to the Ministry of Interior.

(Libya, 16 August 2020) – The pro-GNA militia leader Mus’ab Al-Batsha recorded video from Tripoli Hospital in which he claimed that Syrian mercenaries and members of Tripoli Revolutionaries Brigade led by Lutfi Al-Baksta kidnapped him after he seized a 23-box cocaine consignment and held him for 25 days, during which period they also tortured him. In the video he he said he managed to escape from his kidnappers after paying them.

He also accused al-Baksta of taking advantages of the war in Tripoli and obtaining machinery from Major General Abdul-Basit Marwan, who is Commander of the Tripoli Military Zone of the Presidential Council, and then buying properties in Tunisia after selling it.

He  revealed that he was only able to escape to a hospital after he paid the kidnappers. In the video he said he went to the hospital after his escape to get treatment for the torture inflicted on him when he was detained by Syrians mercenaries and the members of al-Baksta’s militia at the Bureau for the Protection of Vital Targets in Tripoli.

Photo of some of the cocaine seized by Mus’ab al-Batsha before it was smuggled by Al-Baksta, who is also affiliated to the Ministry of Interior.

Al-Marsad obtained videos and photos of the gang from whom the cocaine was confiscated by Mus’ab Al-Batsha, before the gang paid a bribe to al-Baksta to have its members released. Al-Baksta then arrested al-Batsha and detained him at the Bureau for the Protection of Vital Targets where he was tortured by Syrian mercenaries and militiamen.

Al-Bashta revealed one photo of an African woman (above photo) at the detention centre who he said was accused of possessing cocaine. Al-Marsad obtain a video, which due to ethical reasons it cannot publish here, which shows three women under the influence of alcohol and drug abuse during an indecent party with gang members. Al-Bathsa said that that these girls were also members of the same cocaine gang, and spent the night with his jailers after they were released from the case.

 

TRANSCRIPT OF THE VIDEO STATEMENT BY MUS’AB AL-BATSHA

The following is the transcript of the video recording made by Mus’ab al-Batsha from the hospital documenting his kidnapping.

Video 1: Assalam Alaykum. I’m Mus’ab Al-Batsha, member of Tripoli Revolutionaries Brigade. Regarding the issue of the Vital Targets headquarters, Lutfi Al-Baksta, Mohammed Al-Misrati, and Yousef Al-Talha’, there was a problem and shooting at the headquarters. Rida Al-Balilio was killed, may his soul rest in peace. T problem happened with my brother. I was the commanding officer on that day. Lutfi Al-Baksa and Mohammed al-Misrati grabbed me and kept me in the house next to the headquarter for 25 days without any knowledge.I didn’t know anything about the problem until I heard about it outside. The Syrian guards humiliated and shot at me. Thank God I was able to escape three days ago. I paid the Syrians to smuggle me. We’re in our country but I had to pay Syrians to save me from the kidnapping. I have nothing to do with this issue, If my brother was the one who killed Rida, I’ll be the one who hands over him to justice. All that I faced was because of the cocaine I confiscated, about 23 boxes of cocaine. Al-Baksta took it and said this is my friend, leave him, the Sudanese and Chadi too, they were with the African guy called Issa, they are with the one who lives in Al-Sharqiyah. I was kidnapped in a house beside a diplomatic building. My department was burnt by my friend, the camera filmed everything, Odai, Abu Sabri, Al-Dudah with 5 others, you will regret what you did to me.

Video 2: Shamekh and Lutfi, I didn’t forget what you did, I’ll find the right time to pay you back, May God take revenge on you, If you were a man you would not sell the armoured car then buy from Tunisia, and you wouldn’t sell the […] that Marwan gave to you. You hurt your brother to buy from Tunisia. if you were a man you would join your brothers in Jabha not ran away, I was injustice humiliated and shooted, but god is here, and the only constant is change, I won’t forget your threatens in killing my parents, we’re BuSaleem’s sons, God suffices me, for He is the best Disposer of affairs. I know where your relatives live in Sharqiyah, you, your parents home too, and your home in Damascus too, I can do what you did and torch you house, but I won’t do it because of everything we had together, everything you forgot. I will hand over my brother if he was the one who killed Rida. I have recorded everything you said to me,I’ll hand it over to justice. I follow the law, we’re not similar, you follow money, cocaine and indecent parties. I am better than you, I have the records ofthe boy who stole the 500,000 from my cousin in Maqtal. Praise be to God, I am good, you brought the Syrians who oppressed me and burnt my house, but God is always here.

SILENCE FROM BASHAGHA’S MINISTRY

The GNA still has not commented on this case. Fathi Bagasha’s office rejected Al-Marsad’s request to comment on the scandal at the Interior Ministry. Bashagha continues, however, to to hold meetings and signing agreements seeming on paper on countering money laundering and other illegal activities including drug trafficking and financing of terrorism, whilst militias affiliated with his Ministry of Interior continue their criminal activities and acts of violence.

© Al-Marsad English (2020)

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