The Facebook smugglers selling the dream of Europe - BBC News
ERResearch's bookmarks 2016-08-08
There is nothing new in this. African migrants have been sailing from Zuwara for at least 30 years. But the proliferation of Arabic-language smuggling pages on Facebook reflects a surge in demand from Syrian and other Arab migrants since the uprisings of 2011, as well as a growing confidence among the smugglers themselves, many of whom post their mobile phone numbers online or field enquiries via online messaging apps. Abdul Aziz, who spoke to the BBC via Skype, said that between 10 and 20 people contact him through his Facebook page every day. "Until 2012 we didn't use social media at all," he said. "Now, it accounts for between 30% and 40% of my business."