No Photo Exists of World's Most Wanted Migrant Smuggler

Guess that means he's pretty good at his job
By Daniel Kay,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 3, 2016 7:00 PM CDT
The Highly Profitable Business of Migrant Smuggling
FILE - In this May 25, 2016 file photo made available by the Italian Navy, people try to jump in the water right before their boat overturns off the Libyan coast.   (Italian navy via AP Photo, file)

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.)

Stories to sink your teeth into.
Get our roundup of longform stories every Saturday.
Sign up
We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.