Mexico foiled an attempt by one of toppled Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi’s sons to smuggle himself and his family into the country, Mexican authorities said Wednesday.
The Mexican government’s Secretary Alejandro Poire told AFP that intelligence officials uncovered an elaborate plan, at the height of pro-democracy protests in Libya, to bring Saadi Qaddafi and other relatives into Mexico using false papers.
Poire told the French news agency that Mexican authorities had broken up a well-funded international ring that included two Mexicans, a Canadian and a Danish national who had bought properties in Mexico “to be used as safe houses.”
He added that on September 6 “Mexican intelligence detected an illegal entry plan by Saadi Qaddafi and his family. The government avoided that risk and broke up an international network aimed at providing them with false identities as Mexicans.”
Poire added that the group was preparing to use an extensive network of private flights that would eventually fly Qaddafi’s relatives to an area on Mexico’s Pacific coast.
An extensive operation subsequently led to the “capture and disruption of the network, which will face justice for alleged crimes related to the use of false documents, trafficking individuals and organized crime,” government spokesperson Alejandro Sota was quoted as having said.
Last month, Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou announced his government had granted Saadi asylum for humanitarian reasons.
Libya’s new leadership wants Saadi Qaddafi to stand trial for crimes allegedly committed while heading the country’s football federation, AFP reported.
Another of Qaddafi’s sons, Saif al-Islam, has been captured and the International Criminal Court has called on Libya’s new rulers to inform them if and when they intend to hand him over to face charges for crimes against humanity.