The Kingpin Who Kidnapped Migrants for Ransom

The Kingpin Who Kidnapped Migrants for Ransom

An Eritrean trafficker promised to help Africans desperate to reach Europe—then brutalized them inside a Libyan compound while extorting their families back home. With his fortune, he partied in Dubai.

Daniel Yalke was twenty when he left Ethiopia and set off for Europe. One of six siblings from a poor family in Cherkos, a tough neighborhood in Addis Ababa, he had recently graduated from a technical college, where he’d trained to be an electrician. Some of his friends from Cherkos had paid smugglers to reach Europe. These friends now sent Yalke boastful texts about their better lives in Italy, France, and England. Yalke, a handsome youth with a wide smile, didn’t see much of a future for himself in Addis Ababa. 

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