Global News 06/01/2011

France

“It feels like we have broken up a completely medieval gang structure.” Those were the words of a clearly quite taken-aback Parisian police chief. A Bosnian man, Fehmi Hamidovic, is believed to be behind this operation which trafficked young girls from the Balkans to the French capital for the purposes of forced begging and theft. The trafficked girls are thought to have been behind 75% of all thefts on the Paris metro, netting the gang leaders an annual income of €1.3million.

As is so often the case with forced begging operations, any girl’s failure to steal more than €300 a day resulted in them being beaten, tortured, raped. But despite the arrest of the ringleaders, French police are concerned that the gang is so pervasive that it may still be operational. Read more…

Rwanda/Bangladesh

One Bangladeshi man lured 64 of his compatriots with the promise of “well-paid jobs” in Kigali, Rwanda. All of the men paid for their own flight tickets, plus a fee of up to €1300 each to Mr Miah.
Upon their arrival in Rwanda, the 64 men were kept in two rented houses and had their passports confiscated by Mr Miah. It is thought that he was planning to subject his victims to forced labour on a farm in neighbouring Mozambique. Fortunately, following a tip-off and police raid, the victims are now in the process of being returned to their native Bangladesh. Read more…

US

Number of pizzas Pizza Hut expects to prepare on Super Bowl Sunday = 2 million
Percentage increase in sales of frozen shrimp on Super Bowl weekend = 29%
Estimated number of prostitutes drawn to Super Bowl host city = 10,000
The potential that many of these will be victims of trafficking = very high

Getting concrete statistics to prove the link between human trafficking and major sporting events is rather tricky and cumbersome. But law enforcement officials are readying themselves for the imminent Super Bowl XLV in Texas, stating that the event is invariably “a magnet for sex traffickers and their victims”. Read more…

Kuwait

The practice of having domestic workers in the Gulf region has become so widespread that it is no longer considered a ‘luxury’, but a ‘social necessity’ according to this report. In many cases this constitutes legitimate employment, but the increasing demand for domestic workers in the region is playing directly into the hands of traffickers.
There have been countless cases of young women being recruited by trafficking gangs posing as employment agencies only to be sold to a wealthy family and subjected to abuse and exploitation. Read more…

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