Traffic Stop Leads to Stash House, Drugs, Gang Member

U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested 24 people and seized nearly 2 pounds of fentanyl in a disrupted smuggling operation in Nogales, Arizona, Friday morning.


U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested 24 people and seized nearly 2 pounds of fentanyl in a disrupted smuggling operation in Nogales, Arizona, Friday morning.   

Tucson Sector agents responded to a request for assistance from the Nogales Police Department Friday morning, to identify undocumented passengers involved in a traffic stop.

Agents determined the lawfully admitted permanent resident driver of a Honda sedan was smuggling two Mexican nationals, both illegally present in the country.

All three individuals were arrested.

After agents secured the scene, they learned human smugglers were holding other undocumented people in a nearby house associated with the Honda.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations special agents, together with Border Patrol agents, visited the residence.

They discovered 21 Mexican nationals inside, all illegally present in the United States. Agents seized nearly 2 pounds of fentanyl also found within the home.

While conducting records checks, agents learned one man in the group had been identified as a “Surenos” street gang member during a previous arrest with immigration officials.

The driver of the Honda was charged with human smuggling, while the gang member will be prosecuted for felony immigration violations.

All others arrested will be processed for immigration violations and expelled from the country under Title 42 authority.   

CBP.gov (June 2020) Traffic Stop Leads to Stash House, Drugs, Gang Member

Niger: Police rescue 232 victims of human trafficking

Police in Niger have rescued 232 victims of human trafficking, including 46 under the age of 18, during an INTERPOL-supported operation targeting organized crime groups in West Africa.


46 minors have been saved from forced begging and sexual exploitation

Police in Niger have rescued 232 victims of human trafficking, including 46 under the age of 18, during an INTERPOL-supported operation targeting organized crime groups in West Africa.

Operation Sarraounia, which means queen or female chief in the Hausa language, mobilized more than 100 officers from the Nigerien National Police to various hotspots in Niamey, leading to the arrest of 18 individuals on charges of human trafficking and crimes against children.

As part of the pre-operational phase, officers from INTERPOL’s Vulnerable Communities unit provided training on how to conduct victim interviews in cases of human trafficking and child sexual exploitation.

During the operation (21-31 January), the INTERPOL team on the ground helped national authorities make best use of INTERPOL’s policing capabilities, such as its databases and system of international Notices.

Of the 46 young people rescued, 37 girls aged between 10 and 17 had been forced into sexual exploitation out of hostels or the makeshift camps on the outskirts of Niamey. Other children had been taken from their families and forced to beg at markets and bus stations.

The young victims were safeguarded and received immediate medical attention, revealing a number of serious physical conditions, including advanced human papillomavirus infections.

“Whether it’s children, men or women, traffickers show little regard for the health and well-being of victims, they are simply a commodity to make money,” said Jürgen Stock, INTERPOL Secretary General.

“As vital as it is to track and arrest those behind these crimes, we also need to ensure that those rescued are protected and respected throughout the police process,” he concluded.

All of the victims were provided assistance and returned to their families, with follow-up to be carried out by social services and NGOs.

As a result of the operation, Nigerien authorities requested six INTERPOL Green Notices warning of the danger posed by the individuals who recruited and sexually exploited the young girls.

Following an investigative lead, police officers from the Special Investigations Division of the Directorate of Territorial Surveillance conducted a raid on a house in the centre of Niamey. There, they found 115 men whose travel documents had been confiscated by traffickers. Victim interviews revealed that after a bus trip from Ghana, they were met by individuals who led them to the compound and refused to let them out.

Two days later, 65 more men arrived.

All of the men had been recruited online from Ghana and promised ‘decent work’. However, their travel fees and all costs relating to their recruitment, including commissions, would be deducted from future wages.

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Three INTERPOL Blue Notices seeking more information on the arrested traffickers have been published as part of the ongoing investigation.

Speaking about the operation, Barka Dankassoua, Commissaire de police and Head of NCB Niger said “Operation Sarraounia has shed much light on several criminal groups and trafficking routes. The skills our officers have learned will be put to good use as we follow up on a number of leads.”

Operation Sarraounia was carried out thanks to support from the Human Dignity Foundation, the INTERPOL Foundation for a Safer World and Project Flyway.

Interpol.int (February, 2020) Niger: Police rescue 232 victims of human trafficking

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DHS Blue Campaign Announces Partnership with American Airlines

U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced a new industry partnership between the DHS Blue Campaign – the unified voice for DHS’s efforts to combat human trafficking


The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced a new industry partnership between the DHS Blue Campaign – the unified voice for DHS’s efforts to combat human trafficking – and American Airlines.

January is also recognized as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. While the fight to combat human trafficking exists year-round, January provides an opportunity to reaffirm shared commitment to end this heinous crime.

“The Department of Homeland Security’s Blue Campaign is excited about its partnership with American Airlines. The airline provides human trafficking awareness training to nearly 60,000 team members, including flight attendants, pilots and customer service team members. This partnership is an invaluable opportunity to educate the public about the crime of human trafficking, how to recognize the indicators of trafficking when it happens, and what they can do to report it,” said Trent Frazier, Executive Director of the Office of Campaigns and Academic Engagement.

Through the partnership, American and the Blue Campaign will work together to raise awareness of human trafficking by sharing awareness materials, engaging in events and public awareness campaigns, and amplifying a shared anti-trafficking message

“We’re proud to fortify our company’s efforts to combat human trafficking by joining up with the Blue Campaign,” said Nate Gatten, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs for American. “With the force of partnership, we know we can better raise awareness and more effectively prevent human trafficking ― an awful crime that happens all too often and affects far too many. American is eager to contribute to a solution in any way we can, and we’re looking forward to being involved with this unified, respected initiative.”

In addition to building vital partnerships which enhance public awareness efforts, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security recently released its first-of-its-kind Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking, the Importation of Goods Produced with Forced Labor, and Child Sexual Exploitation. Importantly, this document articulates the Department’s priorities over the next five years to more effectively and efficiently combat the growing threat of these illicit activities to our Homeland.

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