More than 200 detainees in international operation against human trafficking

More than 200 detainees in international operation against human trafficking

June 1, 2023, 10:29 AM

June 1, 2023, 10:29 AM

A joint global operation by Interpol, Frontex and Europol against trafficking in human beings in May led to the arrest of 212 suspects and to the identification of 1,426 victims in 44 countries, including minors, Interpol announced on Thursday.

The objective of this coordinated action, called “Global Chain” It was to go after criminal groups that exploit victims from Africa, Asia and South America, as well as Europe (Balkans and Ukraine), and place their prey under protection, according to the Interpol statement.

The operation, led by Austria and Romania, involved some 130,000 police, customs and border officers, with operations in 25,400 different locations and checks on 1.6 million people at border posts, roads, stations and airports (with 153,300 vehicles and 8,644 controlled flights), according to the same source.

The police action, which took place between May 8 and 15, also allowed the Bulgarian authorities to detain a suspected terrorist who has been the subject of an Interpol red notice since 2015 and who was traveling on a false passport.

Interpol’s statement also highlights six arrests in Serbia of suspects accused of forcing ten women into prostitution, eleven arrests in North Macedonia for a ring for the sexual exploitation of minors, and seven arrests in Colombia for the sexual exploitation of 27 victims.

“Criminal groups view children in a different light than the rest of society; for them they are a potential source of exploitation and profit,” said Stephen Kavanagh, executive director of Interpol’s police services, quoted in the statement.

“Operations like Global Chain allow us to establish vital links in the fight against trafficking networks,” he added.

To coordinate operations on the ground, a cell that brings together representatives from 24 countries was created at the Interpol headquarters in Lyon (France).

In addition to Romania and Austria, Ukraine, the Baltic countries, Iceland, the United Kingdom, the United States, Morocco, Nigeria, Brazil, Colombia, the Philippines, Bangladesh and Vietnam participated.

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