Niger / Agadez: sale of vehicles from Libya, an alternative for migrant smugglers

Since the cessation of migrant trafficking to Libya following the tightening of the law against migrant smuggling, many young smugglers have converted to transporting cars from Libya to Agadez.

Parks selling these brand new vehicles are legion in Agadez. According to Mahmoud Ali, a young Libyan based in Agadez, all of the houses along the main roads of the city are being sold and converted into vehicle fleets.

<< There are about forty parks in Agadez. It is a business that works very well. It was immediately understood that the traffic of vehicles from Libya to Agadez can bring us large sums >>, he continues.

According to Ahmed, another Libyan who owns a park in Agadez, << the closure of the migration path allowed park owners to have drivers at good prices to get the cars to Agadez >>. Adding that: << there was a time when there was a shortage of drivers to drive our vehicles through the desert because all the young people had turned to the smuggling of migrants, which brought in much more.

Weekly, according to Hassan Amadou, an agent of the Customs of Agadez, there are dozens of new cars that flock from Libya to Agadez. “There are all the brands and for all the wallets >>, he says.

Indeed, the clients of these parks which abound in Agadez are counted among people who have come expressly from Mali, Burkina Faso and Chad. << It’s normal! One finds 4×4 cars out of factory in 2016 at half of its real price. It is a sacred bargain >>, reports Moussa, a Chadian met in Agadez.

To date, the trade of cars from Libya to Agadez constitutes an unexpected boon for local revenues. The municipality of Agadez receives a monthly income on each exploited park. The same applies to the police who collect about 50,000 FCFA per vehicle for various expenses such as Interpol and others.

The question that many ask is related to the origin of these luxury vehicles almost sold off in Agadez. Some think they come from a shady network that floods Niger and its neighboring countries like Mali, Nigeria, Chad and Burkina Faso with vehicles stolen in Libya. Others, however, attribute this bloom of vehicle fleets to Libyan lobbies close to the militias that control central and southern Libya.

Ibrahim Manzo Diallo