Year
Libya
x

    Libya

    Capital

    Tripoli

    Population

    6,777,452

    Area

    1,759,540 km²

    Geography type

    Coastal

    Gross domestic product (GDP)

    USD 52,091.15 million

    GDP per capita

    $7,686.00

    Income group

    Upper middle income

    6.550.29

    Criminality Score

    6th of 54 African countries

    1st of 6 North Africa countries

    Criminal market

    6.100.20

    Human Trafficking

    9.500.00

    Human Smuggling

    8.000.00

    Arms Trafficking

    9.501.00

    Flora Crimes

    1.000.00

    Fauna Crimes

    3.501.50

    Non-Renewable Resource Crimes

    8.500.00

    Heroin Trade

    2.500.00

    Cocaine Trade

    4.000.50

    Cannabis Trade

    7.50-0.50

    Synthetic Drug Trade

    7.00-0.50

    Criminal Actors

    7.000.37

    Mafia-Style Groups

    8.000.00

    Criminal Networks

    7.501.00

    State-Embedded Actors

    8.500.50

    Foreign Actors

    4.000.00

    1.54-0.59

    Resilience Score

    54th of 54 African countries

    6th of 6 North Africa countries

    Political Leadership and Governance

    1.500.50

    Government Transparency and Accountability

    1.50-1.00

    International Cooperation

    2.500.00

    National Policies and Laws

    2.000.00

    Judicial System and Detention

    1.50-1.00

    Law Enforcement

    1.50-2.50

    Territorial Integrity

    1.50-0.50

    Anti-Money Laundering

    1.000.00

    Economic Regulatory Capacity

    2.00-1.00

    Victim and Witness Support

    1.000.00

    Prevention

    1.000.00

    Non-State Actors

    1.50-1.50

    1.5416666666667 7 6.1 1.5416666666667 7 6.1

    1.54-0.59

    Resilience Score

    54th of 54 African countries

    6th of 6 North Africa countries

    Political Leadership and Governance

    1.500.50

    Government Transparency and Accountability

    1.50-1.00

    International Cooperation

    2.500.00

    National Policies and Laws

    2.000.00

    Judicial System and Detention

    1.50-1.00

    Law Enforcement

    1.50-2.50

    Territorial Integrity

    1.50-0.50

    Anti-Money Laundering

    1.000.00

    Economic Regulatory Capacity

    2.00-1.00

    Victim and Witness Support

    1.000.00

    Prevention

    1.000.00

    Non-State Actors

    1.50-1.50

    01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09

    People

    Human trafficking remained highly prevalent in Libya throughout 2020, with labour exploitation and forced prostitution reported in different regions across the country. There has been an increasing trend in human trafficking over the past few years. Moreover, human trafficking is closely intertwined with human smuggling, as irregular migration into the country often develops into trafficking incidents. Labour exploitation is particularly notable among sub-Saharan migrants in the country. In 2020, trafficking involved a greater incidence of Bangladeshi migrants arriving in the country on work visas, with many ending up in exploitative environments. There are also reports of individuals as young as 13yearsbeing lured into mercenary work in southern Libya. The COVID-19 restrictions reduced air routes out of Libya and have increased the reliance on overland routes.

    Since 2017, there has been a substantial decline in human-smuggling activities and the protection offered by militia groups in Libya. Additionally, lower coastal departure numbers from Libya to Europe have been registered compared to other Mediterranean routes. In 2020, this trend was particularly noticeable during the first quarter of the year,in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, later in the year, many smugglers adapted to the new circumstances, with some operating along the route between Niger and Libya. In 2020, human-smuggling activities in Libya were characterized by relatively small and less organized groups. Smuggling is generally associated with high levels of violence and high death rates. The state has little control over the entire territory and many state officials reportedly benefit from the profits of migrant smuggling.

    Trade

    Arms trafficking in Libya has fuelled conflict in the region. The proliferation of illicit arms was escalated by the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi and the outbreak of the civil war in 2011. Despite the arms embargo, arms transfersto Libya from other states continue, albeit representing only a fraction of all arms trafficking in the country. Most arms dealers are relatively small and play a mediator role between different actors. Other enabling structures, such as offshore banking, offshore companies and jurisdictions with low levels of enforcement and high levels of corruption, play a much more significant role in facilitating arms transfers. Libya also serves as a major source country for weapons trafficked to neighbouring countries.

    Environment

    Oil products such as petrol and diesel are at the centre of Libya’s smuggling industry. Most of the fuel smuggled out of the country is imported rather than produced, and is thensold at a heavily subsidised rate, offering substantial profit margins to smugglers. To date, there is no evidence that crude oil has been exported illegally from Libya. Overall, there has been a substantial decline in large-scale sea-bound fuel smuggling. However, there have been reports of large-scale transfers of subsidized fuel in the east of Libya in 2019 and 2020. There is some gold-mining activity taking place in the southern parts of Libya, with gold being smuggled into the country. Criminal and armed groups are involved in the process. In regards to fauna crimes, there is illegal hunting of birds for the local and external markets. In particular, since the outbreak of the civil war in 2011 and the increase in arms trafficking, a notable increase in unregulated shooting has been recorded. Different species of birds are targeted, including quail, golden oriole, doves, falcons for falconry and trade, ducks for recreational hunting, medium-sized waders, greater flamingos, herons and the houbara bustard. Meanwhile, the illicit flora trade isnon-existent in Libya.

    Drugs

    Libya is a major transit country for cannabis from Morocco destined for Egypt and then Europe. Most major shipments of cannabis transit through cities, towns and farmlands in the south of the country. A local market also exists andmost notably, hashish consumption has increased in Libya’s major coastal cities since 2011. The cannabis market funds a number of criminal networks, including those involved in other illicit markets. Libya has been characterized as a transit country for the cocaine trade from West Africa, which has declined in recent years. While there is a growing internal market, this is mostly restricted to some circles within the capital and other main towns. There is increasing evidence of coastal spots in Libya being used for the delivery and storage of cocaine in significant quantities that is destined for re-export to Europe and Egypt. Furthermore, senior officials are reported to have links to drug trafficking, including cocaine.

    There is strong evidence of prescription pharmaceuticals transitingthe ports and southern borders of Libya and being consumed in the country. This increasing trend includes drugs such as Tramadol, Rivotril and Captagon. There is anecdotal evidence from smugglers that the scale of Tramadol trafficking appears to have significantly diminished during 2020, largely due to supply-side reforms. The heroin market in Libya is relatively small. Insofar as the market exists, the drug is primarily trafficked through the city of Sebha or enters Libya in small amounts from Egypt. As the country returns to peace, it might become vulnerable to the heroin trade.

    Criminal Actors

    Libya has a diverse range of mafia-style militia groups, with different names and clearly identifiable leaders. These groups are wellarmed and not only dominate different criminal markets, but hold more control over specific areas in the country than the government.Notably, however, compared to more established mafia groups in other parts of the world, Libyan counterparts do not possess the same degree of sophistication and organization.Criminal entrepreneurs are also present in Libya. They tend to be individual families with political affiliations, using quasi-corporate structures to import and export a wide range of commodities. In particular, large-scale arms supplies from foreign states to different Libyan parties create new opportunities for criminal networks to proliferate in the country.

    Over the last couple of years, organized crime in Libya has largely been linked to the proximity of militia groups and criminal actors to the political class. In some cases, this closeness creates an interdependence, whereby the political process is indirectly dependent on the proceeds of organized crime. Meanwhile, there are very few foreign criminal actors in Libya. Given Libya’s historically strong state structure, few foreign actors have been able to take control of criminal economies in the country.

    Leadership and governance

    There is little to no political leadership and governance in Libya on organized-crime issues. The government of national accord has been described as weak and unable to give direction or control territory. The approach of different governing entities in Libya is consistently characterized by a co-option approach. The state has been involved in a co-option strategy for activities such as human smuggling and fuel. In the east, the Libyan National Army (LNA) projects an appearance of strength, propagating an image of territorial control and the ability to bring basic security and services to the areas under its control. In reality, however, it has shown itself to be unable and unwilling to impinge on the criminal interests of significant tribes and militias that guarantee its territorial control in different parts of the Cyrenaica. Moreover, there is ample evidence of widespread corruption and capture of assets at the top of the LNA.Libya has one of the highest corruption perception levels in the world.

    On the international level, the state has little capacity to carry out its international obligations. In numerous cases, the state is unable to support external entities in criminal matters. Nevertheless, the state has attempted to assist the international community on human smuggling. Similar cooperation, but on a lower level,is present in efforts to counter fuel smuggling. On a domestic level, Libya’s legislative framework pertaining to organized crime is very limited. Although Libyan law criminalizes some forms of sex trafficking, excluding cases involving adult male victims, forced labour is not criminalized in the country. A law passed in 2010 also criminalizes migrant smuggling, with harsher penalties for perpetrators belonging to organized criminal groups. There is also legislation prohibiting the manufacture, possession and sale of firearms. Nevertheless, judges in the country have complained that Libya’s criminal code requires modernization to handle the evolving nature of organized crime.

    Criminal justice and security

    Libya’s judicial system is poorly resourced, corrupt and fragmented. Militia groups have been known to impede the judicial system. Although significant warrants have been issued in the past years, the capacity to carry out these arrests and process them in fair trials is non-existent. Meanwhile, Libya’s law enforcement is primarily outsourced to militia groups. Since around 2017, the situation has improved somewhat on the law-enforcement front. Some militias have been targeting different forms of organized crime. At the same time, there has been space for regime-era career officers to return to their positions in the security apparatus. In some cases, this has improved the performance of certain agencies, like the anti-drug agency. The course of action to be taken with security-sector reform is a key battleground that will likely influence the political landscape of the country going into 2021. In regards to territorial integrity, the government does not have the capacity to oversee the country’s extensive borders. Divides among governments and city-states further complicate this.

    Economic and financial environment

    While Libya’s economic regulatory capacity has improved, currency fraud remains widespread. Similarly, reform of fuel subsidies has not yet been introduced. The 2019–2020 Western Libya campaign on the one hand contributed to the delay of theseand other much-needed reforms, while also further damaging the economy and pushing more people into the black market. Furthermore, Libya does not have the capacity to effectively tacklemoney laundering and worse still, the issue remains absent from the political agenda.

    Civil society and social protection

    Neither the Libyan state nor militia groups havethe capacity to provide treatment and support to victims. Similarly, the Libyan government has no strategies, measures, resource allocation, programmes or processes that are aimed at preventing organized crime. While a civil-society base exists in Libya, it is poorly developed. Meanwhile, media freedom is severely limited, with several media outlets being turned into propaganda outlets. Furthermore, attacks on journalists are widespread and committed with impunity.

    Analyses

    Chad’s illegal drug trade contributes to regional insecurity

    Curbing tramadol and other trafficking networks requires transnational cooperation.

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    The criminal markets score is represented by the pyramid base size and the criminal actors score is represented by the pyramid height, on a scale ranging from 1 to 10. The resilience score is represented by the panel height, which can be identified by the side of the panel.