Al Jazeera has uncovered the whole story behind a secret weapon used by Muammar Gadaffi, the late Libyan leader, during the country's uprising to sidetrack and frustrate European governments.
Speaking publicly for the first time, people in the western town of Zuwarah tell how Gaddafi's military took over their port, confiscated their fishing boats and used them as a base of operations to send away hundreds of Africans to Italy.
But the enduring casualties are the black migrants - exploited, then demonised. They are in hiding all over Libya now, unwanted and afraid.
Anita McNaught reports from Zuwarah.