By Libya Herald reporter.
Benghazi, 16 May 2015:
The Beida-based Libyan government says it is banning Bangladeshis from entering Libya. According to Hatem Oraibi, . . .[restrict]the government’s spokesman, it is because of the large number of Bangladeshi workers entering the country, many of whom have “contributed to the high number of illegal immigrants traveling from our shores to southern Europe”.
Oraibi also said that action would be taken in regard to Bangladeshis already in Libya but did not state what it would be.
There are no reliable figures on the number of Bangladeshi boat people crossing to Europe from Libya. They are thought to account for a small but significant percentage of those being smuggled across the Mediterranean. Most, however, are thought to have also entered Libya illegally in the first place, usually from Egypt.
The vast majority of illegal migrants crossing the Mediterranean are from sub-Saharan Africa.
There is also a flourishing trade in fake Libyan visas in Bangladesh itself for Bangladeshis wanting to work in Libya. On Tuesday, 11 Bangladeshis planning to travel to Libya were arrested with fake Libya visas at the airport at Chittagong, Bangladesh’s second city. They were heading first to Dubai. The previous day, three local men believed by local police to be involved in trafficking people to Libya were also arrested in Chittagong.
The number of Bangladeshis either legally or illegally in Libya is also unknown. They represent a large source of unskilled labour in the country, doing the menial jobs that few Libyans are prepared to do, notably refuse collection and cleaning.
This is not the first time that the government has announced that it was planning to stop Bangladeshis arriving in Libya. In 2013, the then government said it was going to bring in restrictions, claiming that too many were entering the country. In the event nothing happened. [/restrict]