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More than 250 human traffickers and people smugglers behind bars after Pan American police operation

14 December 2022

Operation Turquesa IV aimed to identify and dismantle criminal organizations exploiting the world’s most vulnerable

LYON, France - An INTERPOL operation targeting human trafficking and migrant smuggling across Latin America and the Caribbean has seen victims rescued, migrants detected, and suspected perpetrators arrested in 32 countries.

The fourth in INTERPOL’s ‘Turquesa’ series of operations, the five-day (28 November – 2 December) operation saw Latin American investigators use INTERPOL capabilities to work with police forces on all continents to generate investigative leads and disrupt the global crime groups behind people trafficking and migrant smuggling.

Frontline officers conducted controls at trafficking and smuggling hotspots identified ahead of operations, with particular emphasis on transit points such as airports, bus terminals and border crossings.

Although results are still coming in, preliminary reporting points to the arrest of 268 individuals suspected of involvement in migrant smuggling, human trafficking, or associated crime such as document fraud and sexual offences.

A total of 9,015 irregular migrants were detected, and 128 women and two men rescued from human trafficking. Most of the trafficked victims were from Colombia and Venezuela.

Bolivian authorities investigate suspected cases of sex trafficking where criminals are thought to have used fraud and coercion to recruit, transport, and force their victims to work as prostitutes in La Paz. #police#interpol#SAFEE#humantraffickingawareness#humantrafficking#humantraffickingprevention#SAFEEusorg

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