Christian, Ivorian migrant: "I was scammed, kidnapped and ransomed in Libya"
December 30, 2018
InfoMigrants collcted the testimony of Christian, a 36-year-old Ivorian migrant who has lives in Libya for a few years. He tells the story about how, in November 2017, he was kidnapped and hit by militias who asked for money for his release.
"My name is Christian and I'm 36 years old. I have been threatened in Ivory Coast for several years. I was attacked several times and I received death threats so in 2016, I preferred to flee my country. I gave my 6-year-old daughter to my sister and I left with my wife and my 3-year-old son.
After passing through Burkina Faso and Niger, I arrived in Tripoli, the Libyan capital. Very quickly, I was scammed by a smuggler. I gave him 200,000 CFA [300 Euros] to help us cross the Mediterranean. He then put us in touch with one of his friends who dropped us off by car to Sabratha [place of departure for Europe of migrant boats].
It was from there that we were supposed to take the boat. But, once arrived in the city, the man told us that we had not given him the money. I realized the smuggler in Tripoli had scammed us and kept the 200,000 CFA.
So I had to work to pay for the crossing, while my wife stayed in a house with our son and other migrant families.
In Sabratha, migrants gather every morning in a square to find work. Interested Libyans get us into their car and take us to farms or construction sites. Sometimes, bosses do not pay us because they know that we cannot complain and that, in any case, our complaint will be useless."