Created: Dec 31, 2018 2021 07:49 AM
Bermuda law enforcement was ready to participate in an international anti-trafficking operation, which resulted in more than 200 arrests.
An operation involving police across Latin America in collaboration with Interpol led to the arrest of 216 suspects linked to migrant smuggling and human trafficking.
Bermuda was called in to serve as a possible booster during Operation Turquesa III, which ran from November 29 to December 3.
Bermuda Police, including the Intelligence Division and Airport Police, trained with Island immigration staff and border customs officers, as well as with the Reporting Center yachts, in preparation for the operation.
Island officials have also teamed up with authorities in the Americas to train in the fight against human trafficking and migrant smuggling.
Border preparedness and smuggling detection were combined with the use of support agencies, including the Vulnerable Persons Unit, the Department of Children and Family Services and the Abuse Center.
Although Bermuda was never mobilized during the five-day operation, a spokesperson for the Bermuda Police Department said the event was an invaluable learning experience for agencies on the island. .
The spokesperson said: “It was a great opportunity for the participant groups to collaborate, recognize some indicators, review the daily observations at our borders and learn exactly how the Bermuda Partnership Groups work together. – and in what order – a case of trafficking in human beings or smuggling migrants is encountered in the future.
âBermuda’s law enforcement objectives in this regard included preparing for observation at our borders and detecting cases of human trafficking and smuggling of migrants.
âIf such an event were to occur in Bermuda, the additional intention was to identify offenders, facilitate early identification of victims and activate support and protection services for victims of human trafficking.
âThis is where our investigative and support mechanisms such as our Vulnerable Persons Unit, the Child and Family Services Department and the Abuse Center are engaged. Their invaluable expertise works to provide the necessary support to the victims of these types of crimes. “
The spokesperson added that participants would compile regional results, consider areas requiring development and “strengthen the coordination of future joint activities in the region”.