The Yemeni Interior Ministry has affirmed that armed gangs hold Africans infiltrating to Yemen, revealing that 129 Ethiopians were held at Haradh districts located at the Yemeni-Saudi borders.
It affirmed that the Africans were tortured and forced to contact their families residing in Saudi Arabia to transfer them money that reach to the hand of the culprits.
The ministry said that Abdullah Al-Wahash and Khalid Eisa are the chieftains of the gangs, affirming that about49 Ethiopians were held by Al-Wahsh and 97 others by Eisa.
The Ministry stated that it could release the Ethiopians, pointing out that it referred the criminals to courts.
Media sources said that a police station of Haradh issued a list of 19 persons who held Ethiopians who were en route to Saudi Arabia through the Yemeni soil.
They further said that some Africans are seized in Al-Sharafi region of Hajja, affirming that some of them were killed and others are subjected to tortures.
Local human rights groups called on the Human Rights Ministry and security services to halt such crimes and take firm actions against the criminals.
Security sources affirmed that powerful tribal sheiks of allowing the culprits to carry out such practices help and protect them.
Hundreds of Africans perish every year attempting the hazardous sea voyage on rickety fishing boats run by smugglers.
Fleeing their war-torn country, Africans are paying smugglers hundreds of dollars to be then helped into Saudi Arabia.
The United Nations refugee agency has expressed concerns over the record numbers of Ethiopians and Somalis flocking to Yemen, despite the deteriorating the political and security crises sweeping the state.