A smugglers’ haven in the Sahara

Image 4 of 35
< Prev Next >
AGADEZ, NIGER — <br />
Mohmammed (he would only disclose his first name) is one of many human and drug smugglers based in the city of Agadez in central Niger. As one smuggler put it, this city has been called "The Temple of smuggling" as thousands of migrants from Central and Eastern Africa make their way towards this city located at the edge of the Sahara desert. From here, dozens of migrants arrive by bus and approached by the many middle men and women who work for this extensive and highly-organized network of smugglers. Telephone numbers are routinely exchanged and shared by migrants who have used the services of these smugglers. The route from Agadez typically has Libya as its main destination but also offer travel services to Algeria and Morocco. Each migrant wanting to reach Libya from Agadez pays an average of $500 dollars (most of the money is sent through Western Union, a popular money transfer service) once the job is completed.