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Two Swedes charged with blackmailing Eritreans

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Two Swedes who allegedly sought to profit from the kidnapping of Eritreans in Egypt faced charges Wednesday in a district court outside Stockholm of blackmailing exiled Eritreans in Sweden.

According to the indictment, Rasmi Almasri, 21, and Hussin Mohamed, 18, demanded that a Swedish-Eritrean woman pay them $33,000 (25,500 euros) in January and February, or a relative of hers living in Egypt would be murdered.

The Swedes relayed the demands of kidnappers in Egypt to the woman, whose relative was later killed, according to the TT news agency TT.

"In the event that the ransom sum wasn't paid, the Eritrean man was to be killed and his organs removed from his body," the prosecution said in the indictment.

According to the United Nations, Eritreans fleeing their authoritarian homeland are easy targets for human traffickers in the Sudanese desert, who abduct, exploit or kill them.

The United Nations, which runs a refugee camp on the Sudan-Egypt border, estimates that 80 percent of new arrivals leave the camp within two months for Khartoum, Egypt, Israel or further afield in search of better economic opportunities.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130612/two-swedes-charged-blackmailing-eritreans