US Ambassador Welcomes Arrest of Major Human Trafficker in Libya

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On Friday, the US Ambassador in Libya, Richard Norland, welcomed the arrest of major human trafficker in Libya, Abdel Rahman Milad, commonly known as “Al-Bidja.”

“The United States supports Libyan efforts to promote the rule of law, halt illegal smuggling, and combat corruption,” the US Embassy in Libya tweeted.

Al-Bidja has been on the UN Security Council’s Sanctions Committee list since June 2018, for his involvement in human trafficking and fuel smuggling. He was also subject to a special bulletin of the International Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL), and an arrest warrant issued in April 2019 by the Tripoli Public Prosecution Office. All were given on similar charges of human trafficking and fuel smuggling.

He 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 Government of National Accord, heading the Coast Guard in the western region. He is the head of Zawiya’s most notorious militia, known for its human trafficking activities.

Al-Bidja was placed under sanctions by the UN Security Council for crimes against humanity. This includes human trafficking, mistreatment and torture of detained migrants, and the systematic sinking of migrant boats, resulting in the death of dozens.