Failed Assassination Attempt on Libyan Customs Officer in Misrata

Colonel Khaled Al-Dalaa, Director of the Misrata Customs Office
Colonel Khaled Al-Dalaa, Director of the Misrata Customs Office

Colonel Khaled Al-Dalaa, Director of the Misrata Customs Office was subjected to a failed assassination attempt, after confiscating a huge shipment of drugs at the Misrata port from Turkey.

According to eyewitnesses, gunmen showered the police officer’s car with bullets, but he miraculously survived the accident.

Earlier this month, the Attorney General’s Office announced the seizure of 14,910 pieces of hashish and 8.7 million narcotic tablets. These were concealed in a container designated for transporting durable goods from Turkey, in the seaport of Misrata.

The Office ordered that the perpetrators be referred to the competent authorities, to complete all legal procedures against them, and to confiscate the narcotics.

Al-Dalaa said in a video published earlier this month that during a routine inspection, the drugs, estimated at 200 million Libyan dinars, were seized. He added that this seizure is “one of the largest” operations of this year.

In September, the Libyan Customs Authority said that it had thwarted the smuggling of huge quantities of narcotic tablets concealed inside a car on the Libyan-Tunisian border at the Wadi El Bir region.

“After an investigation, officers were able to seize 270,000 narcotic tablets,” the Customs Department said in a statement. They also found five bags of Heroin, weighing 2.5 kilograms.

The operation was reportedly led by Algerian smugglers. This was part of the efforts exerted by the Customs Authority to impose security and the rule of law, along the Libyan-Tunisian border.

In May, the Head of Libya’s INTERPOL National Central Bureau, Adel Bentaleb claimed that there has been a marked increase in drug traffickers using Libya as a transshipment point. This includes drugs from as far as South America.

“While many of these drugs are neither produced nor consumed here, this has not spared us from the violent crime inevitably wrought by such activity, which we are determined to combat alongside INTERPOL,” Bentaleb said.

INTERPOL has said drugs worth nearly €100 million euros have been seized in Africa and the Middle East, during a large international police operation in March and April of 2021.