The country’s internationally-recognised government announced the detention of Abd al-Rahman al-Milad, known as Bija. In 2018, the UN Security Council imposed sanctions against Mr Milad and five other men over people smuggling in the North African country. According to the UN, Mr Milad headed the regional coast guard for the north-western coastal town of Zawiya, which “is consistently linked with violence against migrants and other human smugglers”. The UN’s panel of experts said in 2017 that Mr Milad, along with other members of the coast guard, was “directly involved in the sinking of migrant boats using firearms”. He is alleged to have opened a migrant detention centre in Zawiya, where abuse against migrants took place, and was also an “important collaborator” in fuel smuggling, according to the panel. Earlier this month, the UN Security Council unanimously passed a resolution allowing member nations to inspect vessels suspected of people smuggling off the coast of Libya. The country has emerged as a major migrant route to Europe in recent years.
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