joint action | 

Gardaí arrest woman at Dublin Airport over human trafficking concerns

The incident remains under investigation.

Dublin Airport

Neasa CumiskeySunday World

A woman was arrested at Dublin Airport last month on suspicion of human trafficking offences, gardaí have revealed.

She was held on suspicion of committing an offence under Section 6 of the Criminal Justice (Smuggling of Persons) Act 2021 but was released without charge. The incident remains under investigation.

The arrest was made as part of the EMPACT (European Multidisciplinary Platform Against Criminal Threats) joint-action operation against human trafficking between 6 and 13 June 2022, which saw An Garda Síochana collaborate with European law enforcement authorities Europol and Interpol.

Officers attached to the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB), Garda National Protective Services Bureau (GNPSB), and the Border Management Unit (BMU) at Dublin Airport conducted 264 inspections on targeted flights and ferries at Dublin Airport, Cork Airport, Dublin Port and Rosslare Port, along with additional checks on buses between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

In total, more than 22,480 law enforcement officers from 22 countries have helped to make at least 130 arrests in relation to this operation, according to Europol.

Approximately 60 additional suspects were identified, and more than 100 new investigations were initiated as a result.

More than 130 possible victims of human trafficking were identified, with more than a dozen of them being confirmed as minors.

Over the course of the two-week operation, law enforcement agencies also checked the identity of over 11,130 minors, “who remain the most vulnerable group within persons being trafficked and exploited”.

“Many fall victim to sexual exploitation, forced begging or different types of forced criminality, including petty crimes and drug trafficking,” Europol said in a statement.

“They also become victims of labour exploitation and domestic slavery.”

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