Deadly ‘game’ to send people to Europe illegally

Saddif Ovee
Published : 00:44, May 25, 2019 | Updated : 18:46, May 25, 2019

To enter Europe illegally via the Mediterranean, migrants have to wait in a house on the Libyan coast. For three days, they are given training on how to cross the sea. This entire operation is termed a ‘The game’ by the traffickers though this often ends in death.
Recently, 37 Bangladeshi citizens lost their lives while trying to cross the sea to Europe. On May 21, 15 Bangladeshis came back to the country from Tunisia. They, along with others, tried to cross the sea on an engine boat which developed a technical problem at sea.
With the help of Red Crescent, the stranded people were rescued. Of them, 11 are from Sylhet. As per their statements, a person called Parvez in Biswanathpur in Sylhet is their broker who is currently believed to be in Libya.
It’s believed that Parvez and several Libyan people are engaged in ‘The game’.
The returnees say that the game includes learning how to operate a boat, use a compass and other travel related issues.
They are also taught what signals to use before entering Lempusa Island and basic language.
After 150 persons are trained, a date is fixed and two to three boats are sent out. From Libya port, migrants are made to walk for two hours over one feet of water and then, when the water level rises to the waist, they find the boats.
The boats are usually fish catching trawlers. After leaving Tunisian border, boats need to be changed and this time the people are put on rubber boats with drinking water, biscuits and cakes.
The broker takes Tk 1 million.
One person paid Tk. 0.85 million initially and then after ten months, the expenditure rose to Tk 1 million.
The brokers use such persuasive language that one cannot but be swayed, said a returnee.
Many send their sons after selling land and taking loans
Meanwhile, a case of human trafficking was lodged against Parvez Ahmed and cohorts at the Biswanath thana on May 16.
Special super of CID, Mollah Nazrul, says: “We are working and the details will be revealed later.”
On May 17, three members linked to the death of 37 Bangladeshis in a boat capsize on the Mediterranean were arrested by RAB.
The arrested have said that they have been sending people abroad illegally with false promises of job, security and better life.