Security forces from the Government of National Accord (GNA) detained Abdel-Rahman Milad, also known as ‘Al-Bidja’, in Tripoli. The arrest warrant issued against Al-Bidja was based on investigations conducted by the Attorney General’s office, and at the request of the UN Security Council’s Sanctions Committee. This was for Al Bidja’s involvement in human trafficking, as well as migrant and fuel smuggling.
The Tripoli Security Directorate arrested him, and called on the Public Prosecutor’s Office to take the necessary legal measures.The Ministry of Interior affirmed that it will firmly work to apply the law to all without distinction. It also affirmed that all criminals will be brought to justice.
Al-Bidja is an internationally-wanted criminal who has a long record of human trafficking crimes in western Libya. Born in 1990 in the city of Zawiya, he works as a lieutenant officer assigned by the GNA, to head the Coast Guard in the western region. Al-Bidja is the head of Zawiya’s most notorious militia, known for its human trafficking activities.
He was placed under sanctions by the UN Security Council, for crimes against humanity. This includes human trafficking, mistreatment and torture of migrant prisoners, and the systematic sinking of migrant boats, resulting in the deaths of dozens.
He has also amassed a very public profile for himself in recent years, thanks to a series of international scandals. This includes public spats with government officials, and appearances on international news outlets.
In 2019, an independent investigation found that Italy had invited Al Bidja in 2017 to hold talks with intelligence officials in Sicily. This was despite Rome being fully aware of his involvement in human trafficking.