Eritrean most wanted fugitive and human smuggler Kidane Zekarias recaptured in operation led by UAE

Kidane-Zekarias-Habtemariam-1672931373740Abu Dhabi: A nine-month international police operation led by the UAE in partnership with Interpol has resulted in recapturing the world’s most wanted Eritrean fugitive Kidane Zekarias Habtemariam, and his brother Henock who is wanted for his involvement in money laundering.

Kidane, who escaped from a court in Ethiopia in 2021, is wanted by the UAE and many other countries. He has been finally recaptured and will be brought to justice for his human trafficking crimes, the UAE Ministry of Interior confirmed on Thursday.

Lieutenant General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, thanked all partners for their efforts that led to recapturing fugitive Kidane and the arrest of his brother.

Kidane Zekarias Habtemariam, from Eritrea, is known as one of the world’s most notorious and cruellest human smugglers. He is wanted by a large-scale international investigation into migration crime that is being conducted from the Netherlands.

Who is Kidane

According to reports, Kidane is wanted by a large-scale international investigation into migration crime that is being conducted from the Netherlands. On 19 October 2021, he was placed on the Dutch National Wanted List. The chief public prosecutor of the National Public Prosecutors’ Office offers a Euro20,000 reward for the tip leading to Kidane’s arrest.

Kidane was the head of a camp in Libya where thousands of migrants were living. He is suspected of leading a criminal organisation that seeks to make as much money as possible on the backs of migrants. His victims were subjected to severe beatings, kidnapping, rape, and/ or unlawful deprivation of liberty. Many did not survive the journey to Europe, and even if they did make it to the Netherlands, he extorted money from them by making them pay him for the next member of their family who was on their way to Europe.