Over 500 Bangladeshis held while trying to enter Europe from Libya

They will be repatriated with help of International Organization for Migration, says the Bangladesh ambassador to Libya

Libyan police have detained more than 500 migrants, mostly Bangladeshis, from Misrata city during their attempt to illegally reach Europe.

The daily Libya Observer reported the detention on Monday citing police sources.

The detainees are currently at Hamza Tariq Al Matar Detention Center in capital Tripoli, it said.

Bangladesh Ambassador to Libya Major General SM Shamim-Uz-Zaman told the daily Prothom Alo the detained Bangladeshis and other nationals had been preparing to enter Europe on a boat.

According to Libyan police, the number of detainees is 541, and most of them are believed to be Bangladeshis.

But the embassy confirmed 240 to be Bangladeshis, but said there were more of them.

After identification, they would be repatriated with the help of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Ambassador Shamim told Prothom Alo.
There has been an increase in recent years in the number of migrant deaths due to their boats sinking in the Mediterranean while trying to illegally enter Italy.

The law enforcement agencies of Bangladesh say human traffickers are extorting large sums of money from Bangladeshis and other nationals by tempting them with a better life in Europe.