Italian media reported Wednesday that Osman Matammud was arrested on September 26th outside a reception centre for migrants after around 15 people identified him and threatened to lynch him.
Initially believing he was a people smuggler, Italian authorities widened their investigation after a dozen alleged victims testified that Matammud, 22, committed serious offences in Bani Walid, Libya.
“In a career of 40 years I have never seen such a horror and it must be imagined that what occurred at Bani Walid takes place in all the camps,” prosecutor Ilda Boccassini was quoted as saying.
In areas such as Bani Walid, smugglers pick up migrants, agreeing for a fee to move them but then use torture to extort more money from relatives in their home countries for sums up to $7,500.
Two young Somali women have accused Matammud of repeatedly raping them for months while other victims say that he battered migrants to death or let others die of starvation, press reports said.