The Ethiopian Federal Police on Friday said “the most wanted human trafficker in the world” Kidane Zekarias is arrested in Sudan with the support of Interpol.
The Federal Police said the fugitive, the subject of two Interpol red notices by Ethiopia and the Netherlands for migrant smuggling, human trafficking and other related offences, was arrested in Sudan, said Ethiopian Federal Police in a statement issued on Friday.
Kidane was arrested in Ethiopia in 2020 but escaped from prison on Feb 18, 2021, and was later sentenced in absentia to life in prison.
He has also been accused of running a major criminal organization behind the kidnapping, extortion, and murder of East African migrants.
Interpol, in a statement, said the Eritrean national believed to have smuggled and trafficked thousands of victims had been on its radar for years.
In March 2022, intelligence gathered by Interpol prompted a task force meeting with participants drawn from Ethiopia, Sudan, The Netherlands, UAE, Europol, and other Regional security agencies.
The collaboration efforts allowed UAE authorities to conduct a thorough investigation of his network and family members, identifying money laundering activities and leading up to his arrest in Sudan.
His arrest will deal “a significant blow to a major smuggling route towards Europe and protect thousands more from being exploited at the hands of the crime group”, Interpol said in a statement.