In the last four years, Sudan has gone from being a pariah state to an E.U.partner on countering migration. Roughly one-quarter of the refugees and migrants who cross to Italy from north Africa have transited Sudan. But our reporting suggests that not only does the Sudanese regime benefit from complying with E.U. deals meant to contain migration, but some of its most influential citizens also appear to profit from letting some refugees through.

 

Story

We investigated how Sudanese security officials are involved in smuggling refugees from East Africa and how Sudan’s elite, while claiming to act as the E.U.’s partner in countering irregular migration, have found another way to profit from the human traffic.

We investigated the illicit trade in passports for Syrians in Khartoum, we spoke to brokers, smugglers and a passport authority official, as well as examining confidential documents. All sources pointed us to Abdullah al-Bashir, a 71-year-old physician, known in Khartoum’s markets as “The Shark.”

In the last four years, Sudan has gone from being a pariah state to an E.U.partner on countering migration. Roughly one-quarter of the refugees and migrants who cross to Italy from north Africa have transited Sudan. 

Credits

Story and production
Klaas van Dijken, Abdulmoniem Suleiman

Research
Klaas van Dijken
Abdulmoniem Suleiman

Financial support
Free Press Unlimited

Publications

Sudan: The E.U.'s partner in Migration Crime
News Deeply

Passports for Sale
News Deeply

De weg naar Europa loopt via Sudan
Trouw

Waarom rijken Syrische vluchtelingen via Soedan naar Europa reizen

Trouw