25 July 2019
ADDIS ABABA, July 25 (Xinhua) — Police in Ethiopia’s Afar regional state, located in the northeastern part of the country have intercepted 72 individuals in suspected case of human trafficking, an Ethiopian official said on Thursday.
Saleh Seblale, Chief Police Inspector at Afar regional state, said the 72 individuals were intercepted on Wednesday evening as they were allegedly being smuggled on the back of three lorry trucks, reported state media outlet Ethiopia News Agency (ENA).
Seblale said police believe the plan was to smuggle the 72 individuals to neighboring Djibouti on transit to their final destinations across the Red Sea in the Arabian Peninsula.
He further said police have arrested the drivers of three lorries on suspicion of trying to facilitate the smuggling of the 72 individuals consisted of 52 males and 20 females.
Seblale also said police had in recent days intercepted another 33 Ethiopian nationals in another suspected case of human trafficking.
Every year thousands of Ethiopians looking for better economic opportunities are estimated to be trafficked through Djibouti and the Red Sea to reach the Arabian Peninsula.
In recent years, the Ethiopian government has taken out advertisement in local print and broadcast media outlets and warned its nationals on the dangers of illegal migration.