Mark Micallef is Director of the North Africa and Sahel Observatory at the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime, where he leads research on organized crime, based on a field network of more than 160 Monitors, comprising local journalists, researchers and academics, established in in Libya, Tunisia, Morocco, southern Algeria, Niger, Chad, Mali and Sudan.
He is a researcher focused on smuggling and trafficking networks in Libya and the Sahel and an investigative journalist by background. His speciality is human smuggling and trafficking in Libya and bordering Sahelian states, and has been engaged with irregular migration from Africa to Europe for more than 15 years. As a journalist he reported extensively from Libya, both before and after the overthrow of Muammar Gaddaf as well as during the 2011 revolution itself with dispatches from Benghazi, Ajdabija and Ras Lanuf during the rebels’ advance on Sirte, where Gaddafi was eventually found and killed. Since then he has conducted extensive fieldwork and research on organised crime, non-state armed groups, smuggling and trafficking networks in Libya, Niger, Chad, Mali, Algeria, Sudan, Turkey, Myanmar and Bangladesh. Formerly, the News Editor at The Times of Malta, Micallef spent a substantial part of his career investigating crime. A probe in 2014 saw him track down in the UK and Dubai two Maltese businessmen wanted for multi-million-euro fraud.