Kidane Zekarias Habtemariam has been accused of being a smuggling kingpin, running a camp in Libya where hundreds of East African migrants seeking passage to Europe were allegedly kidnapped, raped and extorted. Habtemariam, the subject of two Interpol red notices by Ethiopia and the Netherlands, was arrested on January 1 by Sudanese police in coordination with UAE authorities, UAE interior ministry official Saeed Abdullah al-Suwaidi told reporters on Thursday. The Eritrean, on Interpol’s radar since 2019, earned a reputation for “particularly cruel and violent treatment of migrants”, Interpol said. Habtemariam’s arrest followed a joint UAE and Interpol investigation, beginning last year, that tracked illicit financial transactions made by his brother, according to al-Suwaidi. The Eritrean will now face trial in the UAE for money laundering, and authorities will review the possibility of his extradition after the case is closed in the UAE, Suwaidi added.
SOURCE: AL JAZEERA