05 July 2021
"An ex-Libyan lieutenant police officer says the Libyan coast guard actively works with smugglers, posing questions on the EU's continued cooperation with them."
"Libyan police lieutenant: 'Coast guard are smugglers'
An ex-Libyan lieutenant police officer says the Libyan coast guard actively works with smugglers, posing questions on the EU's continued cooperation with them.
"The Libyan coast guard and smugglers are one together," he said on Friday (2 July), via a translator.
EUobserver will not disclose his identity, but was able to confirm his status as a ranking police officer with Libya's ministry of interior after seeing photos of him in uniform.
"They are not under the law, they are above the law," he said of the guard, which is part financed, equipped and trained by the European Union.
"The smugglers pay money to the Libyan coast guard to let them pass [to Europe by sea]," he said.
The comments were made a day after the Libyans were filmed shooting near a migrant boat in Malta's search and rescue zone.
His statement also aligns with what an EU diplomat said a week ago, noting a relatively low interception rate of people from Bangladesh when compared to Sudanese nationals."
Source: EUobserver, 5 July 2021
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