German outlet Der Spiegel has published an in-depth investigative piece on the sprawling network that's bringing illegal African migrants across the Mediterranean and into Europe. Focusing on the operation of one man targeted by Italian and Libyan authorities, the paper traces the long, dangerous path migrants must cross before they can cross the porous borders into Europe. More than 10,000 migrants have drowned while following that path since 2013, and meanwhile, the smuggling trade is a multi-million dollar industry.
Notorious smuggler Ermias Ghermay is the most-wanted migrant smuggler across the globe, but no photo of him exists—just an artist's rendering. Libyan authorities say they know where Ghermay is living, but do not have the personnel to apprehend him. His operation runs like a well-oiled machine, smuggling tens of thousands of African migrants—mostly from Eritrea—into the European Union, particularly Germany; the "inaction" of German officials has caused tension with investigators in Italy, where many of the migrants initially land. The full piece of reporting at Der Spiegel is well worth a read. (Read more migrants stories.)