“Going back home now, I’m totally frustrated, I don’t know where to start from. Because I spent my life savings leaving the country. You understand? It’s very painful, very painful.”
Those are the words of Victory, a 21-year-old migrant from Edo state.
Speaking to CNN from a migrant detention facility in Tripoli, Victory struggles to control his tears as he recounts how he was sold as a labourer and had to work to pay his ransom.
“After I was sold they demanded a ransom, the pusher man that brought me from Nigeria, I gave him money, he didn’t pay, so they said he did not pay that money, so they sold me,” he said.
“I was there for eight months before I paid my money and I went out.
The smugglers also demanded ransom payments from Victory’s family before eventually releasing him.
“I spent a million-plus (Nigerian naira, or $2,780),” he tells CNN from the detention center, where he is waiting to be sent back to Nigeria. My mother even went to a couple villages, borrowing money from different couriers to save my life.”
In the investigation done by CNN, it was discovered that migrants were being auctioned for as low as $400.