Libyan authorities yesterday detained a suspect for "torturing irregular Egyptian immigrants and extorting their families to obtain money."
The country's public prosecutor said in a statement that the perpetrators were "compelling the migrants' families to pay sums of money in return for not torturing their akin."
"In cooperation with the western border police, the information unit at the attorney general's office has identified the perpetrator who was known on social media as 'Al-Hajj Hakim', chased and arrested him," the statement read.
It added that the investigation had resulted in proving the fact that the defendant was "blackmailing the Egyptian migrants". The investigation has found that the defendant is embroilment in illegal immigration and human trafficking.
Hakim has been put in pretrial detention.
"Hakim recently coordinated illegal immigration operations through a company that he manages from home and has links with other networks working for him in neighbouring countries," the statement pointed out.
It did not address the fate of the Egyptian immigrants.
Libya is a major crossing point for irregular African migrants who are hoping for a better life in Europe, away from conflicts and poverty.