Conversations With A Libyan People Trafficker

“Maybe one day I come stay with you in London,” says Hassan. “London is very beautiful but I love Manchester United.” Hassan is enthusiastic and personable, but he would be – he wants my business.

Hassan, 22, who lives in a port town on the Libyan coast, has offered to collect a friend of mine and her seven-year-old daughter from Khartoum, Sudan, transport them to the Mediterranean coast and put them on a boat with 250 other migrants headed for Italy for a total fee of $3,800 (€3,500) – $1,000 for my friend and $500 for her daughter’s crossing, the rest for transport from Khartoum. It’s a service he advertised openly on a Facebook page which translated from Arabic to English as “Boats to Italy”. Facebook took down the page after being notified by Newsweek.

“The trip will last a period of eight hours before reaching Italian waters,” it says. “It will take about two hours for an Italian ship to come out.” Some Italians leave hate messages on the page while customers ask about the boats and trips.

Read more.