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Sudan arrested the right suspect of human trafficking: police

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June 9, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese police authorities on Thursday denied reports casting doubts on the identity of an Eritrea man arrested and sent to Italy as “one of the world’s most-wanted people smugglers", saying they are sure he is the right suspect searched by the Italian police.

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Left: An image of the man believed to be Mered Medhanie previously released by the UK National Crime Agency; Right: the man extradited to Italy (BBC Photo)

British media; particularly The Guardian and The BBC, published reports claiming that Sudanese authorities didn’t extradite Medhanie Yehdego Mered, 35, who is wanted for running a huge human trafficking network. Instead, Khartoum arrested and delivered Medhanie Tesfamariam Kidane, a 27-year-old.

High ranking security officials from the Sudanese police and other security apparatuses involved in the operation Thursday held a meeting with the British and Italian Ambassadors to Khartoum to discuss the issue.

Reached by Sudan Tribune after the meeting, a police official who is not authorized to speak to the media stressed that nothing proves that the arrested man is not the one who is searched for smuggling of illegal immigrants and the death of many thousands in the Mediterranean.

The official further said that the arrested man is one of a wide human trafficking network, adding "he may not be the head of the network but he is one of its most prominent members".

The National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS), since several months are also tasked with the file of illegal human trafficking. This decision created a confusion of competencies between the two security services.

Italian police announced Wednesday that Mered, suspected of controlling a migrant trafficking network, was arrested in Sudan with the help of Britain’s National Crime Agency, had been extradited to Italy on Monday 6 June.

Sudan committed itself to cooperate with Italy and Germany to stop the flow of illegal immigrants from the Horn of African countries.

(ST)

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