UNODC Supports INTERPOL to Target Migrant Smuggling and Human Trafficking

February 11, 2021

Vienna (Austria), 14 December 2020 — An INTERPOL-led operation against migrant smuggling has led to more than 200 arrests among criminal networks that were involved in the smuggling of around 3500 migrants throughout the Americas, Africa, Europe and Asia.

Up to 100 potential victims of human trafficking were also rescued during the operation, known as “Turquesa II”, which brought together authorities in 32 countries across four continents, with Brazil serving as the coordination hub.

UNODC crime prevention experts have been supporting INTERPOL since preparations got underway this past February and will continue to play a key role in the post-operation phase of this major operation.

“Multi-agency cooperation is essential to stop migrant smugglers and human traffickers, and rescue victims,” says Ghada Waly, UNODC Executive Director.

“I am proud of UNODC’s contribution to Operation Turquesa 2, leveraging our criminal justice expertise, networks and cross-border coordination capabilities.”

UNODC, through its extensive network in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Asia, facilitated the coordination between law enforcement agencies and specialized prosecutors in the preparation phase of the operation, to enable the joint actions.

From 27 November until 3 December, coordinated and increased controls were conducted at transit and entry points in the participating countries; including airports, bus terminals, and border crossings.

The locations and times of the controls had been determined months in advance based on intelligence about potential migrant smuggling and human trafficking activity.

Read the full story from The United Nations.