Banker kidnapped in Tripoli

By Ajnadin Mustafa.

Tripoli, 27 September 2016:

The deputy general manager of the Libyan Foreign Bank has been kidnapped in Tripoli. Omar Hajaji who is in charge of banking operations was seized by an armed gang in front of his house in the capital’s Gargaresh district yesterday evening.

His family say they have not heard from the kidnappers and do not know if he was abducted for ransom or some other reason.

Kidnapping of people regarded as either wealthy or working for a company that will pay for their freedom has become dangerously common in Tripoli and has is one of the reasons many residents have left the country.

It is thought that a small number of gangs are responsible for much of the wave of kidnappings.  They also appear to enjoy using extreme violence in their activities. There equally appears to be links between kidnapping for money and extremism.

One family now based in the UK have reported how their 65-year-old uncle, retired teacher Saeid Soleman Shriha who was seized in July in Tripoli, was tortured and murdered by kidnappers who claimed they were supporters of the so-called Islamic State. They had demanded LD 800,000 and later sent the family a photo of his dead body.

The family, however, also believe that racism may have played a part, noting that they are Amazigh and stating that anti-Amazigh abuse continues in Libya.

Banker Hajaji, from Zuwara, is also believed to be Amazigh.

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