Country Armagh Men Face Charges of Trafficking

Two men appeared in court on 19th August 2014 facing 50 trafficking-related charges following a PSNI investigation leading to the identification of 20 potential victims.

The 20 Romanian victims were rescued at various stages at two locations in County Armagh. The 14 men and six women range in age from 20 to 48.

The UK Human Trafficking Centre (or UKHTC), Migrant Help, Women’s Aid and the Gangmasters Licensing Authority have been involved in dealing with the case alongside the PSNI.

Detective Inspector Todd Clements from Organised Crime Branch said, “This has been a fast-moving and complex operation which may continue for some time. The 20 people we have identified as potential victims of human trafficking for labour exploitation are in places of safety now. Our inquiries are continuing.”

Two things to note:

  • Some may be inclined to panic when they see numbers rising (we are already ahead of ourselves in terms of NI stats this year). But No More Traffik welcomes the rise in numbers, as we understand it to mean more investigations and recoveries as opposed to more trafficking activity.
  • This is a significant story as it highlights the fact that we cannot allow stereotyping when it comes to human trafficking. Victims are not only female, and trafficking does not only happen within the context of sexual exploitation, or in bigger cities. As we remain open, we will be able to identify other, perhaps more nuanced, forms of trafficking which will lead to more recoveries.