Subject: [Stop-traffic] News: Drug gangs turn to migrant trade
From: Melanie Orhant (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Mon Aug 07 2000 - 10:13:32 EDT
Drug gangs turn to migrant trade
Nick Hopkins, crime correspondent
The Guardian (London), Thursday, July 6, 2000
Organised crime gangs are turning away from drug trafficking to smuggling
migrants because it is relatively risk-free and hugely lucrative, a police
conference was told yesterday.
John Abbott, director of the National Criminal Intelligence Service, said
the number of illegal entrants brought into Britain had risen from 61 in
1991 to 16,000 last year. Many had paid criminals thousands of pounds.
Mr Abbott told the Association of Chief Police Officers that new penalties
- including fining lorry drivers £2,000 for each migrant found in their
vehicle - would not stem the flow in the short term, and called for the
trade "to be tackled on several fronts" to produce an effective
The speech, to Acpo's annual conference in Torquay, came a month after the
deaths of 58 Chinese nationals, whose bodies were found in a lorry
container during a routine inspection by customs officers in Dover. The 54
men and four women were illegal entrants from the Fujian province of China.
Mr Abbott said NCIS had identified dozens of gangs that concentrated solely
on "people trafficking".
He cited a United Nations report which estimated that some one million
migrants were transported in illegal operations worth up to $20bn last
year. "Our analysis suggests increased involvement in this type of activity
because it is low risk."
The British gangs involved, Mr Abbott said, had links with criminals
abroad, which made cross-border cooperation between investigators imperative.
The conference heard that some migrants were duped into thinking they were
paying for legitimate passage.
Many end up as hostages or being forced into prostitution to pay the
Roy Penrose, director general of the National Crime Squad, said five or six
investigations into "this miserable trade" were in progress. "Drugs cannot
hide, people can," he said.
Please contact me off-list for any questions about the list at
Women's Reproductive Health Initiative
Program for Appropriate Technology in Health
Stop-traffic is facilitated, international electronic list
funded by the Women's Reproductive Health Initiative
of the Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH)
dealing with human rights abuses associated with trafficking
in persons, with an emphasis on public health and trafficking
in persons for forced labor, including forced prostitution,
sweatshop labor, domestic service and some coercive mail
order bride arrangements.
To subscribe and unsubscribe, please go to
Stop-traffic mailing list
This archive was generated by hypermail 2a22 : Mon Aug 07 2000 - 09:15:11 EDT