Eritrean Catholic Priest Mussie Zerai : Human Trafficker

Eritrean Catholic Priest Mussie Zerai : Human Trafficker

Mussie Zerai is being investigated for human trafficking. Photo by Stephan Röhl
Mussie Zerai is being investigated for human trafficking. Photo by Stephan Röhl

An Eritrean Catholic Priest, Don Mussie Zerai, is being investigated by the Trapani (Italy) Prosecutor’s Office for colluding with human traffickers taking migrants across the Mediterranean Sea from Africa to Europe.

The investigation lead to the seizure of a boat run by German NGO Jugend Rettet who had direct contact with traffickers off the coast of Libya. According to reports, Zerai received communications from migrants boarded on trafficker’s rafts and boats. The reports include the day, time and location of the boats to be “rescued” with members of NGO ships.

According to one Italian prosecutor, Carmelo Zuccaro, quite a few NGOs are involved in the human smuggling operation including Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontiers), Save the Children, and Mobile Offshore Aid Station.

Here is how Zuccaro and others have said the migrant trips often go:

  1. Migrants from African countries including Somalia, Eritrea, and others are convinced to leave their home countries for Europe by being led to believe they will have better lives.
  2. Migrants work out a deal with smugglers, often paying upwards of $8000 for a ride to Italy, the main drop-off point. Smugger’s boats usually leave from Egypt and Libya.
  3. They get close to the border of Italy or Malta, and the migrants call Zerai.
  4. Zerai contacts NGOs and Coast Guard to “rescue” the migrants.
  5. If the Coast Guard shows up first, the boat captains have been known to force people out of the boat and into the water at gunpoint and take off. Many of the migrants drown before they are rescued.
  6. If NGOs show up first, the migrants are taken to refugee camps.
  7. From there, Italy sends many of the migrants back to Africa, specifically to Libya, where they are often sold off as slaves.
  8. Tens of thousands of migrants have died from drowning in the Mediterranean Sea over the last few years.

Catholic Priest Mussie Zerai has pretended the part of an angel for years. He was nominated in 2015 for a Nobel Peace Prize for supposedly “providing last minute and life-saving information to any migrant trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe.”

According to the Telegraph, Zerai’s rise to fame started when, in 2003, he gave his number to a journalist who needed help translating the accounts of Eritreans stuck in Libyan detention camps. His number got passed along by word of mouth between family members. Then someone scrawled it on the wall of a Libyan prison. Over the last 15 years, he has become a one-man “999 crisis call centre” for the Mediterranean as his mobile number spread across the detention centers and refugee camps of North Africa. He now fields calls from as far away as Yemen and Indonesia. All of the callers have been led to believe that he is there to help them. Little do they know, he is the person behind their demise.

Priest Mussie's letter informing his group of his efforts to transfer Eritrean refugees to Ethiopia. The Catholic Church is behind all of it. Photo by Tesfa News
Priest Mussie’s letter informing his group of his efforts to transfer Eritrean refugees to Ethiopia. The Catholic Church is behind all of it. Photo by Tesfa News

While hailed as a hero by most Western media, a few people have accused him of complicity in helping traffickers over the years, although this is the the first time he has been officially investigated. In that same time, he has been especially critical of European nations. “In the last 15 years more than 25,000 people have died in the Mediterranean. And what is Europe doing now? Erecting walls and barbed wire,” Father Zerai said in 2015. “All legal channels must be used to combat trafficking….”

Zerai’s hypocrisy is absurdly palpable. While being the key person in this major Catholic-church-run human trafficking organization, he has spent years pretending to be against it. “What happens is that these people pay huge sums of money to traffickers in the hopes of crossing to Europe through Israel. The traffickers – many of them based in Libya, Egypt and Sudan – then bring them to the Sinai desert where they imprison them demanding further payment of huge sums…” Zerai told Vatican Radio in 2010. He continued, “The inertia of the States is a godsend for criminals who get rich, a millionaire business around this trafficking is forcing hundreds of families into debt for amounts that they will pay for decades…” “We appeal to all humanitarian organizations, to all international institutions, to make every effort to suppress this trafficking. Hundreds of lives are in constant danger here,” he concluded.

Thousands of migrants, many of them with Zerai’s phone number on hand, have died in shipwrecks while making the crossing. One of the worst incidents happened on October 3, 2013. A boat carrying migrants from Libya to Italy sank off the Italian island of Lampedusa. The boat had sailed from Misrata, Libya, and was loaded with migrants from Eritrea, Somalia and Ghana. The Italian Coast Guard rescued 155 people, but more than 360 people died. A second shipwreck occurred 120 kilometres (75 mi) from Lampedusa on October 11. At least 34 people died in that incident. Zerai was hailed as a hero on both occasions, even by the suffering migrants. In fact, his number was even written on the wall of the boat’s cabin. “We believed that he could make a rescue boat appear in the middle of the sea,” one survivor told The New Yorker.

The New Yorker hailed him as a hero:

“There would be many more [deaths] were it not for Zerai, a thirty-nine-year-old Eritrean exile, whose phone number circulates among Europe-bound Africans like a Mediterranean 911. Boats in distress call Zerai by satellite phone, and he writes down their coördinates and passes them on to the Italian authorities to arrange for rescue.”

Nothing could be further from the truth. Zerai is no hero. He is one of the masterminds behind the creation of the migrant crisis in the first place, and the Catholic Church  profits from the chaos at every turn.

Peter Sutherland
Peter Sutherland

Members of Catholic Church hierarchy sit at the top of all of the major migration organizations. They reap huge profits from it. For example, Peter Sutherland, a Jesuit-trained financial advisor to the Vatican, was the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for International Migration until March 2017. He was replaced by another Jesuit-trained shill, Louise Arbour. Sutherland was responsible for the creation of the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD). He is also President of the International Catholic Migration Commission, as well as member of the Migration Advisory Board of the International Organisation for Migration.

Creating world-wide terror and profiting off the demise of innocent people caught up in the refugee and migrant hustle is the modus operandi of the Catholic Church and its faithful Sons of Loyola.