by Frederik Pleitgen and Mohammed Fadel Fahmy, CNN
The area of Al Mehdia near Egypt's border with Israel is a lawless place even by Northern Sinai's standards.
There is no police force and a military offensive launched recently after a deadly string of militant attacks on Egyptian border guards, has not stopped the illicit trade that flourishes in this area.
Tankers full of fuel still make their way to smuggling tunnels leading to Gaza in broad daylight and marijuana fields are cultivated with elaborate irrigation systems in the middle of the desert.
Last year CNN visited the region as part of the Freedom Project spotlighting the depths that the traffickers have sunk. Now we revisit the remote region to see Bedouins tackling the trafficking on their doorstep.
CNN is joining the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on the horrors of modern-day slavery, amplifying the voices of the victims, highlighting success stories and helping unravel the complicated tangle of criminal enterprises trading in human life. WHY WE'RE DOING THIS | MORE ABOUT THE PROJECT