Stranded Nigerians and migrants of other nationals in Libya are in a dire situation as smugglers now auction them for sale as slaves in the North African country for as low as $200-$400 (N144,000).
In a video footage report published by CNN, some stranded immigrants were seen in a brief clip being auctioned for sale, with the auctioneer saying they are, “big strong boys for farm work.”
According to the report, Nigerians are sold at the auctions, which usually take place at least twice in a month, for 900, 1,000 Libyan Dinars, depending on the physical strength the migrant possesses.
In the video, an unidentified Nigerian, who is believed to be in his late 20s, was sold during the transaction. The auctioneer, whose face didn’t appear in the video, but his hand resting on the Nigerian shoulder, was addressing an unseen audience about the ‘deal’ in a deep baritone voice.
Libya has become a major transit hub country for migrants looking to reach Europe from North Africa. Thousands of migrants have died attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea from Africa into Europe.
They’re refugees fleeing conflict or economic migrants in search of better opportunities in Europe. Most migrants have sold everything they own to finance the journey through Libya to the coast and the gateway to the Mediterranean.
But a recent clampdown by the Libyan Coastguard means fewer boats are making it out to sea, leaving the smugglers with a backlog of would-be passengers on their hands. .
So the smugglers become masters, the migrants and refugees become slaves. The auctions usually take place in 9 locations, namely: Gadamis, Garyan, Zuwara, Alzintan, Sabratah, Kabaw, Calsteverde, Alzintan and Alrujban.
Carrying concealed cameras into a property where the human merchandise is about to take place outside the capital, the CNN Correspondent who pretended as if they were looking for a missing person, discovered that there are scores of migrants waiting to be auctioned.