Greetings from The Slave Detective,
One of my very first Human Trafficking Cases, brilliantly handled by DC Peter Rootes and DC Mark ‘Summo’ Simpson was Operation CEROS which twinned with Op BACTRIAN.
This is a case I have spoken about on this blog previously. One of the survivors ‘Maria’, had been recruited in Lithuania by a friend of the family who was in law enforcement. Yes a Police Officer!
It was our pleasure to root out this ‘person’ and ensure he never misused his position again.
So this week I have read of several cases where a position of trust or power has been misused to traffick a young person.
The first is a well recorded case in The West Indies. A Trinidad & Tobago Police officer with 20yrs service appeared in court. This story has been bubbling for a while.
I first saw it on the 4th April and in this article (in the Trinidad Express) the most amazing thing was the comments from Islanders.
“Finally they arrest a police,a small fish, a constable, for bringing in Columbian Girls,this been goin on for so long, he is only a peon, get them BIG FISH behind him, then i goin to be impress,or is that to hard to do…”
This was just one in the same vein.
Now as an Investigator (I’m still in that field even though I retired 18mths ago) I know that it is easy to have a finger pointed at someone. It is another thing to charge them with an offence and an even greater level of proof to convict them. I would have it no other way. Most Police Officers would hate to think that a conviction was not 100% safe.
There are bad apples in every cart. Some Police Officers I worked with were convicted of very serious offences. I wish them everything that they have coming to them when they serve their sentence.
If you ‘do’ the crime……. enjoy your ‘Time’.
This gentleman is of course innocent until he is convicted. If he is guilty he can expect not only the deserved shame but the full weight of the law coming down on him.
There is nothing that tastes worse than a ‘Cop’ that has abused his position. That is doubled when he exploits persons for his own gain.
I aslo found an interesting blog of someone who visited the Islands looking to see how T&T combat Human Trafficking. An interesting account!
The second account is maybe even more worrying.
I strongly criticised Westminster/Kensington and Chelsea Council in London this week in my blog ‘Not Even Half Baked’. Read that to find out more.
The story here was around an initiative to engage with Embassies to combat Human Trafficking. This was something I wanted to ‘hand over’ when The Human Trafficking Team was closed. We had excellent working liaison with many Source Countries Embassies that the Clubs and Vice Unit failed to take up when offered. It wasn’t something they thought would work!! It did then. I hope it does now, three years too late!
This second story is about an Embassy in Moscow which it is alleged contacted Traffickers to prevent them from being apprehended.
Once again it is easy to make an allegation. It is an entirely different thing to substantiate it.
This allegation though seems to have some legs. The persons making it have given evidence to U.S. House of Representatives! You don’t just waltz in there with half-baked stories.
It is the story of a 15 yr old Vietnamese woman, from Vietnam, who fell prey to a Vietnamese-run sex trafficking ring in Russia.
Vietnam is a common Source Country in the UK as well.
She was approached by an acquaintance with the opportunity to travel to Moscow for employment as a waitress at a nightclub. You can imagine where it went from there!
The account ends with the startling accusation that it is believed that the Vietnamese Embassy knows how to contact Madam Thuy An (who prostituted her) and was complicit in her avoiding capture by the Russian Authorities who tried their level best to capture her.
These are just two accounts that have come to note in the last couple of weeks.
My main point here is that these accusations play right into the hands of the traffickers!
It is one of the most used Control Methods. ” Don’t go to the authorities as I know them and I am friends with them” and then be seen conversing, sometimes innocently, with an ‘Officer’ in a language the ‘Victim’ does not understand. It may only to ask the time or some easy question! But shows that the Trafficker is not afraid of the ‘Law’ even if it is yet another trick in their armoury.
Let it be known that if they are caught…. EXPECT THE MAXIMUM without parole.
I am not naive enough to think that it will stop all. But we have to start somewhere.
On a final note on corruption. I have colleagues that have worked in Trinidad & Tobago. They saw corruption that went unchecked and unchallenged. I am in no way singling out this country. I am sure they want to stamp out bad officers. There are many other countries where public office corruption is an acceptable way of life.
Pressure needs to be applied here so we also work from the ‘Top Down’. It will not happen over night but for ‘Survivors it is imperative that they can turn to ‘The Law’ for help when they realise they are being exploited.