For seven days, Kwasi Prah, 34, had been stuck in Agadez. He had travelled from Ghana to the Nigerien desert city hoping to cross over the Sahara Desert into Tripoli, Libya. He had succeeded once before: crossed the desert, arrived in Libya, then sailed to Italy before he finally arrived in the United Kingdom after paying a smuggler to carry him inside a cargo truck. But when the police found him he was arrested and deported to Ghana for entering the UK without a visa. That was back in the autumn of 2016.

For this second attempt, Prah was more resolute but cautious. He was spending his days scouting for the best person to smuggle him across the Sahara and was well-informed about the presence of military officers who might stop him.

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