THE Libyan Interior Ministry says gangsters involved in kidnapping and torturing immigrants have been arrested near the city of Sirte, some 450 km east the capital Tripoli.
‘After following up the incident and communicating with the families of the abductees, immediate action was taken to collect information and investigate the whereabouts of the gang,’ the ministry’s Special Deterrent Force said in a statement on its official Facebook page on January 24.
‘In cooperation with Sirte’s Central Security and Protection Force, a raid was carried out successfully and four criminals were arrested,’ it added.
Eight kidnapped immigrants of Sudanese nationalities were freed.
Videos recently appeared on social media showing African immigrants being tortured by unknown people in Libya.
The special force said the gang kidnapped and tortured the immigrants to pressure their families in their home countries to pay ransoms.
A day before the arrests, the Foreign Ministry had strongly condemned the torturing of the migrants, asking security and legal departments to investigate the case.
A few months ago, US news channel CNN published a report of auctions in different parts of Libya, where stranded African immigrants are sold as slaves for as little as $400.
The videos sparked wide international condemnation of the alleged slave trade in Libya, while the Libyan authorities said an investigation was underway.