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Saturday, July 13, 2024

Global Human Trafficking Operation Leads to 219 Arrests and 1,374 Victims Rescued

In a significant global effort to combat human trafficking, 39 countries participated in the EMPACT joint action days between June 3 and June 9, 2024. The operation, codenamed ‘GLOBAL CHAIN,’ was led by Austria and co-led by Romania, with support from Europol, Frontex, and INTERPOL. This coordinated effort resulted in the arrest of 219 individuals and the identification of over 1,374 victims, including 153 children. The focus was on cases of sexual exploitation, forced criminality, and forced begging.

Building on the success of previous operations, the multidisciplinary approach involved law enforcement and border guard agencies from multiple continents. The aim was to identify and dismantle the most threatening criminal networks operating in the EU, including mafia-type, ethnicity-based, and family-based organizations engaged in human trafficking. Special emphasis was placed on cases involving child victims.

Throughout the action week, authorities across participating countries conducted targeted activities to disrupt human trafficking networks and raise awareness about this grave crime. The results were substantial:

– 362 suspects identified
– 219 perpetrators arrested
– 1,374 victims identified and assisted
– 2,074 criminal assets, including cash and devices, seized
– 363 fraudulent documents detected
– Over 276 new investigations initiated

The operation extended beyond Europe, with significant activities in Latin America, Asia, Africa, and Eastern Partnership countries, including Ukraine. Officers conducted inspections, looking for signs of trafficking and forged documents, arresting perpetrators, and safeguarding victims. A coordination center was established at the Frontex headquarters in Warsaw, Poland, to facilitate data cross-checks and information exchange among participants.

The operation revealed numerous harrowing cases. For example, Hungarian police arrested a couple forcing their six children into sexual exploitation and begging. The children were found neglected and abused, and have since been placed in foster care. In Romania, police arrested a suspect for recruiting underage victims for begging and sexual exploitation, using violence to control them. In Ukraine, police dismantled a criminal group exploiting vulnerable individuals for begging and forced marriage.

In Vietnam, authorities uncovered a scheme where a Chinese interpreter lured 14 Vietnamese individuals with promises of high-income jobs abroad, only to force them into online financial scams. Victims had their documents confiscated and were extorted for their release.

The operation also included awareness efforts. In Ireland, the National Police engaged with thousands of passengers in Dublin to educate them about human trafficking, generating significant public engagement.

This coordinated international law enforcement effort underscores the ongoing commitment to combat human trafficking and protect vulnerable populations. The results of the ‘GLOBAL CHAIN’ operation demonstrate the effectiveness of global collaboration in addressing this crime.

Read more about the initiative here.

author avatar
Matt Seldon
Matt Seldon, BSc., is an Editorial Associate with HSToday. He has over 20 years of experience in writing, social media, and analytics. Matt has a degree in Computer Studies from the University of South Wales in the UK. His diverse work experience includes positions at the Department for Work and Pensions and various responsibilities for a wide variety of companies in the private sector. He has been writing and editing various blogs and online content for promotional and educational purposes in his job roles since first entering the workplace. Matt has run various social media campaigns over his career on platforms including Google, Microsoft, Facebook and LinkedIn on topics surrounding promotion and education. His educational campaigns have been on topics including charity volunteering in the public sector and personal finance goals.
Matt Seldon
Matt Seldon
Matt Seldon, BSc., is an Editorial Associate with HSToday. He has over 20 years of experience in writing, social media, and analytics. Matt has a degree in Computer Studies from the University of South Wales in the UK. His diverse work experience includes positions at the Department for Work and Pensions and various responsibilities for a wide variety of companies in the private sector. He has been writing and editing various blogs and online content for promotional and educational purposes in his job roles since first entering the workplace. Matt has run various social media campaigns over his career on platforms including Google, Microsoft, Facebook and LinkedIn on topics surrounding promotion and education. His educational campaigns have been on topics including charity volunteering in the public sector and personal finance goals.

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