Eritrean placed on The Netherlands Most Wanted List for migration-related crime

The Dutch Public Prosecution Service has placed the Eritrean Kidane Zekarias Habtemariam (37) on the Netherlands Most Wanted List. Kidane is suspected of leading a criminal organisation targeting migrants travelling to Europe from Eritrea.

A large-scale international investigation by the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee (KMar) has revealed that, for financial gain, the organisation abuses, extorts, kidnaps and rapes Eritreans travelling to countries including the Netherlands. Most of the abuses take place in Libya, whilst their families in the Netherlands are extorted at the same time. Kidane is also suspected of money laundering involving large sums of money obtained through these criminal activities. 

Whereabouts unknown

The TV programme Opsporing Verzocht (‘crime watch’) will be covering the investigation this evening. Kidane’s current whereabouts are unknown. He escaped whilst being tried in Ethiopia earlier this year. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in absentia in Ethiopia.

The Netherlands also wants to prosecute Kidane and is working together with countries including Italy to locate him. KMar is seeking tips and information that could lead to Kidane’s arrest so that he can be brought to justice here for the criminal activities under which thousands of victims are being smuggled and exploited in degrading conditions.