EU backed coastguard ‘sell refugees’ as lawless Libya spirals out of control

Migrants off the coast of Libya hope to reach Italy where they will seek asylum - Zoie O'Brien

LIBYAN coastguards who have been given millions of pounds from the European Union have been astonishingly accused of involvement in the selling of vulnerable refugees to vile people smugglers.

The security situation in the hostile African nation is spiralling out of control with desperate migrants caught up in the chaos.

Militia groups are attacking each other, as well as the so-called ”unity” government – the Presidency Council, headed by unity Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj.

The internationally recognised government cannot control of large swathes of the nation where lawless militants run riot, selling men and raping women on a daily basis.

The troubles in the country are spilling over into Europe as men, women and children flee the nation in an attempt to find safety.

Rescues off the coast of Libya could break records
Horror in the Mediterranean as migrants risk their lives escaping Libya – Zoie O’Brien

Responding to the growing crisis the EU made the highly controversial decision to spend a staggering £78m in the country and offered training to its coastguard.

But Express.co.uk can reveal both the official coastguard, and the unofficial coastguards run by secondary power sources, have been accused of firing shot at migrants, battling with militia on the beaches and even, most

shockingly, being involved in the sale of vulnerable refugees.

Sources who cannot be named for security reasons have witnessed murders and trade deals between bandits and coastguards who appear to be those backed by the bloc.

A source said: “Basically the country is run by mafia and this is how they fund their operations.

“Migrants are the major source of income and are sold on either as slaves or back to facilitators who sell them on again.

“The coastguard are just an extension of this regardless of what flag is flown.”

Female migrant covers face after a dramatic rescue
A female migrant covers her face after a dramatic rescue in the Mediterranean – Zoie O’Brien

Migration to the European Union through Med route
Male migrants cling to the edge of a rubber dinghy while women and children sit inside -Zoie O’Brien

Another witness said: “(The coastguard) recently caught hundreds of migrants then sold them on for tens of thousands of dinars to the migrant traffickers who will then sell them on again to Europe or make them work to buy a ticket then put them back on a boat then tell the militia where to pick them up.”

Fighting has intensified in recent weeks with refugees heading for Europe insisting they witnessed what looked like a war-zone around the country’s capital, Tripoli.

Thousands of migrants are spending every penny they have attempting to make highly dangerous crossings from Libya to Italy.

Already this year an estimated 1,700 have died on the crossing.

Unofficial Libyan coastguard follows migrant boats
The ‘unofficial’ Libyan coastguard is accused of dealing with smugglers – as well as EU backed teams – Zoie O’Brien

Criticism of Brussels for backing the coastguard has been widespread from NGOs, charities and even politicians wading in.

Italy has called on the EU to take further action this week as it threatened to close its ports to rescue ships.

This week, 25,000 migrants were brought to the nation which claims the bloc is not doing enough to help relocate the desperate and abused landing on its shores. – Express

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