The Libyan police have detained more than 200 Bangladeshi nationals while trying to enter Europe crossing the Mediterranean Sea illegally.

They were held from the Misrata district along the country’s eastern coast on Saturday and later were sent to a detention center in Tripoli, its capital.

The Bangladesh ambassador in Libya Maj Gen SM Shamim Uz-zaman confirmed the information to Prothom Alo after it was revealed in local media.

In conversation with Prothom Alo on Monday night, the ambassador said the Bangladeshi nationals, along with other migrants, were preparing for a voyage to Europe from a Libyan coast when police held them.

According to the Libyan police, a total of 541 people were detained from the spot and it seems that most of them are Bangladeshi nationals.

When contacted from the Bangladesh embassy, they initially confirmed that 240 of the detainees were from Bangladesh. The actual number could be ascertained after interrogating the remaining ones.

Ambassador Shamim said the Bangladeshi nationals were preparing to reach European territory with the help of human traffickers. After confirming their identities, they would be deported home through the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

The embassy authorities were maintaining contact with the IOM and local police in this regard, added the ambassador.