A Libya returnee has narrated his ordeal travelling illegally to Europe and he revealed the name of a Trafficker from Benin, named Charles.
The returnee identified as Alex Otoide also said 25 compatriots, perished in the Sahara Desert, in the course of the journey.
Alex Otoide, from Edo state, who spoke with journalists in a government camp in Benin City on Thursday, said seven members of the group also died inside a Libyan jail.
According to him,
“We were 55 that travelled from here to Libya, 25 people died in the desert. More than seven people died from hunger and thirst inside the prison.”
The human trafficking agent, Charles collected N500,000 from him with a promise of a better life in Europe.
Expressing regret for embarking on such aimless journey, Otoide said instead of Europe, he ended up in a Libyan jail.
He said if not for divine providence, things could have been worse for him as he witnessed the sale of 20 Nigeria girls in the prison where they were all kept.
“They sold about 20 girls in the night. I saw it. It was God that saved me.”
“I left Nigeria with N500,000. I spent six months in Libya jail after the man that took my money ran away.
The Libya returnee said the so-called Charles is running a transit camp in Libya for those who wanted to travel illegally across the Mediterranean to Europe.
According to other deportees, the Nigerian trafficker regularly made a trip back to Nigeria where he persuaded desperate young men and women that he can help them to get to Europe from Libya for a fee of about N500, 000. But after collecting the money, Charles will usually abandon them in Libya.
It was further reported that the human trafficking kingpin operated several bank accounts with different names in Nigeria through which he collected money from victims.
Charles would keep Nigerians for days without food in his camp in Libya and many of the migrants don’t even make it to Libya as they died of exhaustion in the Sahara desert, says the migrants.
Another Libya returnee, Osas Blessing said Charles is among those nicknamed “burgers” or “connection man” on the Libya route.
“I gave Charles N450, 000 but when I got to Libya he increased it to N600, 000. He is very wicked. He does not care for human life. He is a Benin man. He will say if you die you die. He pushed us into the sea at the wrong time.
“I heard he just left Nigeria with new passengers to Libya. He has frustrated many Nigerians.”
The Nation reported that many of the returnees look skinny and exhausted while some of the women among them came back to the country with babies, whose fathers are not known.
During the 2018 budget presentation to the House of Assembly on Wednesday, Gov. Godwin Obaseki said no fewer than 10,000 indigenes of Edo state were trafficked in the last one year.
Governor Obaseki disclosed that more than 3,000 deaths were recorded among the trafficked persons, pledging that his administration is willing to support any initiative that will curb human trafficking.
Edo state is generally recognised as the capital of human trafficking, with hundreds of young girls hoodwinked into sex slavery/prostitution in Europe. Parents are said to be largely responsible as they sell their houses to offer their children to human traffickers, paying huge sums of money into the voluntary bondage scam.