TRAFFICKING NEWS SUMMARY 03/12/09

19 YEAR OLD GANG MEMBER FACES 18 YEARS FOR HUMAN TRAFFICKING

A 19-year-old man, DeShawn “Cash Money” Clark, has been found guilty of second-degree human trafficking, first-degree promoting prostitution, two charges of commercial sex abuse of a minor, and unlawful imprisonment – and faces between 13 – 18 years in prison. Clark is allegedly a member of the West Side Street Mobb, a West Seattle gang infamous for similar crimes, of whom four were convicted on the same day for charges of commercial sex abuse.  A key player in the trial was Mycah Johnson, a fellow member of the gang who testified about how Clark taught him how to recruit and pimp out girls. Unusually, the trial included more evidence and witnesses than a homicide case, including testimonies from women he prostituted and evidence that he has tattooed the young women with the gang mark – a bag of cash. (Source: here)

52 YEAR OLD CANADIAN WOMAN SELLS WOMEN TO POLICE FOR $4,000

In Calgary, West Canada, a 52 year old woman – Linh Quy – was arrested for involvement in a human trafficking network after allegedly attempting to sell two women to undercover cops for $4,000. Suspicions were raised when police uncovered internet advertisements for adult services by young Asian women. The accused used her hair salon as a front for where the women were made to operate from. The two women offered to the policemen posing as aspiring brothel controllers were aged 25 and 41, both originally from China. Police say the women who forced to move from a variety of different locations, to Edmonton and Vancouver and are thought to have been sexually exploited a number of times. They were forced to eat, sleep and work as prostitutes all within the same room. This case arises in light of another human trafficking case in Calgary where aspiring models were enticed to the city on promises of careers, instead being forced to work in the sex trade. Three girls, aged 16-17, and a woman of 20 were found at a hotel room being guarded by a man, Codie Toby Cardinal, who police have now arrested. Two of the victims are in protective care while two others have now returned home. (Source one / two)

NEW LAWS TO CURTAIL POTENTIAL TRAFFICKING ROUTES IN NEW JERSEY

New Jersey is set to see new laws come into force which aim to protect women from human trafficking. The law demands greater accountability, tougher requirements, and criminal back ground checks on agencies that work as international matchmaking or labour recruiting companies. The idea is that these laws could curtail human trafficking, reducing the dangers of people being recruited on false pretenses, particularly for women looking to come to work as nannies or ‘mail-order brides’ looking for partners. The laws are a significant step in an effort to establish control over companies that operate largely through the internet and outside the US. (Source: here)

ROMANIAN GANG IMPRISONED FOR TRAFFICKING PEOPLE INTO IRELAND

Three Romanian men have been imprisoned for trafficking Romanians into Ireland with the intention of forced labour and exploitation. The men, who are made up of a father, his son and his nephew, were sentenced for seven and five years respectively. In addition to human trafficking they have been accused of operating an organised crime syndicate, money laundering, and possession of firearms. The gang is estimated to have made over a hundred thousand Euros in the space of two years. Twenty eight of their victims have been identified. Despite the victims having paid to be transported, they were promised jobs which paid two thousand euros a week – which was a lie, and in fact their traffickers confiscated what little earnings they got. Some victims were beaten, threatened at gun point, and were forced to work up to seventeen hours a day, sleeping in terrible conditions. (source: here)

 NIGERIA TAKES ACTION ON GRASSROOT AWARENESS OF TRAFFICKING

Nigeria’s National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffik in Persons (NAPTIP) has convicted 65 people of human trafficking, and rescued and repatriated 4,000 victims since 2003. Executive secretary Simon Egede says that agency’s work has uncovered the fact that Nigeria is becoming notorious for child traffiacking, particularly from one state to another with the purpose of economic gains with regards to domestic work, hawking, begging, car washing, prostitution and baby caring. Case studies uncover how at times victims are forced to walk hundreds of kilometres in the desert, where many end up dying in the extreme conditions, are sold into prostitution along the way, and become victims of HIV/AIDS. The endemic nature of trafficking has been blamed on lack of awareness on a grassroots level, and NAPTIP have begun workshops and seminars with all segments of society in order to counter this. (Source: here)

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