Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Imran Ahmad on Monday lauded the role of the Rapid Action Battalion for arresting the suspected trafficker of the 26 Bangladeshis killed in Libya.
EWOE minister’s assistant private secretary Muhammad Rasheduzzaman told Migration News that the minister expressed his satisfaction over arrest of the suspected trafficker.
‘The minister hopes that such arrest would help stop the human trafficking in Bangladesh,’ he said.
The RAB has arrested the suspected trafficker Kamal Hossain, alias Haji Kamal, 55, who was apprehended in Dhaka on Sunday, bdnews24.com reported quoting RAB-3 deputy chief Maj Rahat Khan Harun.
“RAB focused on the issue of human trafficking when it opened an investigation into the killings of 26 Bangladeshi migrant workers in Libya. Kamal was arrested on the basis of evidence that points to his involvement with their trafficking,” the RAB official said.
The elite police unit seized Kamal’s passport as they prepare to remand and grill him on the matter, according to RAB officials.
Further details are likely to be revealed at a media briefing on Monday.
The family of a slain Libyan human smuggler killed 26 Bangladeshi and four African migrants in revenge for his death, Libya's internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) said on Thursday.
According to media report, Kamal Uddin had trafficked over 400 people to Libya in the last 10 years. Some of the Bangladeshis killed and injured in Libya on Thursday were among them. The man even forced some of the victims' families to pay ransom recently when they were tortured in Libya, days before being killed.
The Rab official said they also received complaints from families of other victims.
Kamal and his agents used to force the families of the fortune-seekers to pay money when his associates in Libya would hold their dear ones captive and torture them, Rab officials said.
Kamal in primarily interrogation claimed that he used to send some of the money to his counterparts through "hundi", an illegal transaction channel.
A diary recovered from Kamal's possession during arrest has records of his crimes and also reveals names and other information of at least 10 local and foreign agents, Rab officials said. They did not, however, reveal their names.
It was Kamal's local agents who used to lure fortune-seekers in remote villages with promises of high-paying jobs in Libya and European countries.
Kalam, a tiles contractor, also used to encourage his co-workers to go abroad for a better life, Rab said.
He used to ask his clients to pay Tk one to three lakh first and then Tk 4 lakh after reaching Libya, and additional two to three lakh for migrating to European counties later.
Gullible people used to step into the trap and their ordeals would start soon after leaving Bangladesh, the Rab official said, adding that the gang used to manage passports and visas for the victims.
The traffickers used different routes. Bangladesh-Kolkata-Mumbai-Dubai-Egypt-Bengazi-Tripoli (Libya) is the latest route they are using. The gang's foreign agents used to handle the victims and kept them confined for days at every landing station.
Once they reached Libya's Tripoli, some Bangladeshi people living there would receive them. They were later handed to local gangs who would keep them confined and torture them for money. The traffickers used to film the horrifying torture and sent the videos to family members back home through different messaging apps to force them to pay ransom, Rab officials said.
Sometimes, the trapped people are allowed to make calls to their families, only to hear their screaming over the phone, Rab officials said quoting the arrestee and the family members of the victims.
In the process of being trafficked to Europe, many died in the sea or the desert. Many starved for days or weeks before they got arrested while many were killed by traffickers -- similar to what happened on Thursday, Rab officials said.