Slovak and British authorities, supported by Europol and Eurojust, have dismantled an organised criminal group involved in trafficking Slovak victims for the purposes of sham marriages and sexual exploitation, Europol informed at its website.
The Police in Scotland carried out house searches in Glasgow in early February, while Europol specialists were deployed on the spot to support the national authorities. They detained five suspects in police custody.
Moreover, 16 women, described as potential victims of trafficking, were identified and offered care and assistance by a specialised non-governmental organisation, Europol informed in a press release.
In addition, the police seized numerous travel documents, computer equipment, mobile phones and cash during the operation, which they plan to use for further investigation.
This joint action was preceded by extensive and complex investigations supported by Europol and Eurojust. Moreover, two days ago, the second phase of this operation took place in Trebišov (eastern Slovakia), where four search warrants and four arrests were executed.
“The modus operandi of this organised criminal group was to recruit vulnerable women from challenging socio-economic backgrounds by deception, promising them attractive and well-paid jobs abroad, and then forcing them into sham marriages and prostitution,” Europol informed.
The authority actively supported this operation against human trafficking and provided operational and analytical support to Slovakia and the United Kingdom throughout the investigation. Europol specialists in trafficking human beings delivered real-time cross-checks of the data gathered using a mobile office and data extraction device during the actions, the press release reads.
15. Feb 2017 at 23:55 | Compiled by Spectator staff