Interpol Warns Migrant Smugglers Are Exploiting The Covid-19 Pandemic

Migrant Boat Lands On Beach In Spain’s Alicante

image: UNHCR

Interpol Warns Migrant Smugglers Are Exploiting The Covid-19 Pandemic.

Interpol has made more than 200 arrests as part of an international operation to bring down criminal smuggling networks. The International Criminal Police Organization has warned that human traffickers are exploiting the Covid-19 pandemic.

The one-week long operation, named Operation Turquesa II, saw officials in 32 countries conduct more than 50,000 checks. The massive crackdown revealed the identification of around 3,500 irregular migrants and the detention of over 200 people that were linked to migrant smuggling and human trafficking.

Interpol Secretary General Juergen Stock warned that the operation “shows how organized crime groups continue to take advantage of vulnerable people seeking a better life, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.” The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) assisted the operation, with the group’s Executive Director, Ghada Waly, stating that its success reflects the importance of teamwork between various agencies.

The operation also involved the INTERPOL Specialized Operational Network (ISON) against migrant smuggling, an international law enforcement network of specialists from immigration, customs and investigative units operating in the source, transit and destination countries.

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Tony Winterburn

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