Human Trafficking is organised crime. There are structures, jobs, lines of command and a huge profit incentive.
Job Titles (Traffickers often assume multiple roles)
- Investors: those who put forward funding for the operation, and oversee the entire operation. These people are unlikely to be known by the everyday employees of the operation, as they are sheltered by an organizational pyramid structure that protects their anonymity. These people may well be based abroad and are never seen in the UK.
- Recruiters: seek out potential victims and secure their financial commitment. These people may be members of the culture and the community from which migrants are drawn.
- Transporters: assist the victims in moving to their new location, by land, sea or air.
- Corrupt public officials or protectors: may assist in obtaining travel documents, or accept bribes to enable migrants to enter/exit illegally.
- Informers: gather information on matters such as border surveillance, immigration and transit procedures, asylum systems, law enforcement activities.
- Guides and crew members: are responsible for moving victims from one transit point to the other or helping them to enter the destination country.
- Enforcers: are primarily responsible for policing staff and victims, and for maintaining order.
- Debt-collectors: are in the destination country to collect fees.
- Money-launderers: launder the proceeds of crime, disguising their origin through a series of transactions or investing them in legitimate businesses.
- Supporting personnel and specialists: may include local people at transit points who might provide accommodation and other assistance.
- Gatekeeper: responsible for checking the legitimacy of an organisation wishing to do business with the gang selling women.
Intelligence sources at Interpol reveal that human trafficking - often financed by Benefits Fraud - supplements more traditional criminal activities such as:
- drug trafficking
- trafficking in arms
- vehicle theft
- money laundering
Traffickers have been linked to money lending to repay debts, extortion for protection money and physical violence. Traffickers have been known to coerce their victims into smuggling and selling drugs. Belgian investigators, confirming reports by Europol and Interpol, found that organized criminal groups rarely limit themselves to one activity but are involved in people smuggling, drug and human trafficking, theft and fraud.