Global operation “GLOBAL CHAIN” cracks down on human trafficking

In a coordinated effort, 39 countries joined forces from June 3 to June 9 to combat human trafficking through the EMPACT joint action days. This major operation, codenamed “GLOBAL CHAIN,” was led by Austria and co-led by Romania, with crucial support from Europol, Frontex, and INTERPOL. The intensive week-long initiative resulted in the arrest of 219 individuals and the identification of 1,374 victims, including 153 children.

Targeting high-risk criminal networks

“GLOBAL CHAIN” focused on dismantling high-risk criminal networks involved in sexual exploitation, forced criminality, and forced begging. This year’s operation built on the successes of previous iterations, with a specific emphasis on breaking down the most dangerous criminal organizations within the EU, including mafia-type, ethnic, and family-based groups.

Authorities across participating nations conducted targeted activities, extensively cooperating to underscore the severity of human trafficking. The collaboration extended beyond law enforcement to include various stakeholders dedicated to reducing the number of trafficking victims.

Impressive outcomes and significant cases

The operation yielded impressive outcomes, identifying 362 suspects, seizing 2,074 criminal assets, and detecting 363 fraudulent documents. Additionally, 276 new investigations were launched as a result of the week-long activities.

Several notable cases highlighted the operation’s impact:

  • Hungary: Police arrested a couple for exploiting their own children for sex and forced begging.
  • Romania: Authorities detained a suspect who recruited minors for begging and sexual exploitation.
  • Ukraine: Police dismantled a criminal group forcing individuals to beg and arranged fraudulent marriages.
  • Vietnam: Authorities uncovered a scheme where victims were coerced into financial scams.
evidence of human trafficking

Coordinated effort and future implications

The operation’s success was facilitated by a coordination center at Frontex headquarters in Warsaw, Poland, ensuring efficient data exchange and collaboration. The global effort was also supported by the EU4FAST project, further enhancing the fight against human trafficking.

Participating countries spanned Europe, Asia, and the Americas, with agencies such as Europol, Frontex, and INTERPOL playing pivotal roles in the operation.

This global initiative underscored the critical importance of international cooperation in combating human trafficking, demonstrating that no country is immune to this crime. The joint efforts have not only brought perpetrators to justice but also provided essential support and protection to numerous victims worldwide.

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By Sex Vienna

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