Organised Immigration Crime

It’s estimated that globally between two and four million people are trafficked across borders and within their own country every year. Human trafficking is believed to be the third largest source of income for organised crime.The term ‘organised immigration crime’ is used to describe both the facilitation of illegal entry into, and presence in, the country and also human trafficking.

Human trafficking/ Modern Slavery  – This term refers to the illegal movement of a person into or through a country for the purposes of the exploitation of that person.

The most frequent form of trafficking seen locally has been the trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation. These cases have predominately involved females who have been brought into the country on the promise of employment but have then been forced to work in prostitution. PSNI have carried out a number of successful investigations in the past year in which victims have been recovered in such circumstances.

There has been an increase in the number trafficked for labour exploitation and there are indications of an emerging issue of forced labour within migrant communities. Not all of these cases will involve human trafficking, although the victims will have been subjected to exploitation and may subsequently become victims of internal trafficking if moved between locations.

During 2017/18 the PSNI identified 36 potential victims of human trafficking, 12 male adults, 15 female adults and 5 males and 4 females under 18. The nationality of victims tends to broadly reflect the enthic minority communities living in NI, Chinese, Eastern European and Indian. but there have been a number of victims from Africia. The principle organised crime gangs identified as operating as trafficking networks tend to be of Chinese or Eastern European origin, examples include Hungarian, Romanian and Czech organised trafficking networks working alongside side local facilitators.

People smuggling – This terms refers to the provision of a service or goods that will facilitate illegal migration. Faciltation methods seen in Northern Ireland include the arranging of so-called "marriages of convenience", or "sham marriages". These marriages involve the making of a payment by an illegal immigrant, who is an non EU national, to a member of an EU Member State in return for entering into a marriage. The non EU national can then claim EU Treaty Rights relating to residency in the EU, based on the marriage.