Euronews is no longer accessible on Internet Explorer. This browser is not updated by Microsoft and does not support the last technical evolutions. We encourage you to use another browser, such as Edge, Safari, Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

Alleged human-trafficking 'kingpin' extradited to Italy

Alleged human-trafficking 'kingpin' extradited to Italy
Euronews logo
Text size Aa Aa

The suspected head of a huge human trafficking ring between Africa and Europe has been extradited to Italy.

Mered Medhanie, known as ‘The General’, was arrested in Sudan late last month after a year-long hunt.

Italian prosecutors say his capture is a major breakthrough.

‘‘We’re not talking about a simple organisation here, but a structured network. They rely on weapons, logistical facilities and vehicles. They’re a real criminal organisation with branches all along the migrant route from Central Africa to Scandinavia,’‘ said Italian prosecutor Geri Ferrara.

The 35-year-old Eritrean national is accused of trafficking thousands of people from North African to Europe.

He is also thought to have arranged the transit of a boat from Libya, which sank near the Italian island of Lampedusa in October 2013.

More than 350 migrants died when that vessel capsized.

It is the first time a suspected trafficking kingpin has been tracked down in Africa and follows a joint Italian and British operation.