(Pakistan Point News - 27th Jul, 2021) ABU DHABI, 26th July 2021 (WAM) - The Ministry of Interior (MoI) has taken part in Global operation Liberterra to combat illegal immigration, human trafficking and other trans-continental crimes.
The operation was coordinated by Interpol with the participation of 47 countries. MoI played a pivotal role, as it hosted the operation room of the joint forces from the middle East, Asia and North Africa.
The result of this international operation were announced in a Media Conference that was held remotely with presence of Interpol's officers , representatives of the participants countries along with local and universal Media correspondents..
The global operation was conducted in active coordination with all agencies of the participating countries, and has led to the arrest of 286 individuals, while 430 victims of human trafficking and 4000 victims of illegal immigration were saved. The competent agencies arrested 12 people in the UAE on suspicion of human trafficking. Police forces around the world also performed several operations in the context of Liberterra, including raids, intensified patrols, and information sharing.
The UAE contributed to the implementation of the proposed preventive awareness campaign in addition to work on the ground, which was appreciated and well received by Interpol. It called for its immediate implementation. The UAE agencies launched a parallel awareness campaign targeting tourism staff, public transport drivers, workers in industrial areas, domestic workers recruitment offices in an attempt to raise awareness about the various forms, means and ways of human trafficking.
The UAE, represented by the MoI, participated in the operations, as it was keen to ensure active coordination with all countries, among institutions and international organizations to counter all forms of crime, especially those related to human trafficking. The UAE plays a major role in the operations to fight this transborder crime. It was the first country in the region to pass a comprehensive law to fight human trafficking in line with all international laws and treaties, including deterring sanctions, and raising awareness about crimes related to human trafficking. It also protects and supports victims and witnesses.
The MoI led a national team from police leadership in the UAE through two operation rooms, one in the MoI headquarters dedicated to the national team and to coordination among teams, and the other to receive the country teams from the region. There were other operation rooms dedicated by Interpol.
INTERPOL Secretary General Jürgen Stock said "operation Liberterra is a five -day snapshot of the global trafficking and smuggling situation and how multinational highly organized criminals networks only focus on one thing : Profit.
"with 22 criminals groups dismantled, it also shows what coordinated ,global law enforcement action can achieve" he added.
Lt. Col. Dana Humaid Director General - International Affairs Bureau at UAE MOI said "Human trafficking is one of the major security threats being faced by countries across the world. It has evolved into a multi-billion-dollar industry led by organized criminal groups. While it is challenging to determine the scale of the problem, experts agree that millions of victims are trafficked every year, either for forced labor, sexual exploitation, removal of organs, or people smuggling. The human cost beyond those immediately effected on families, on friends, and communities is incalculable."
She added " This is why we are proud that the UAE has been able to support INTERPOL, and this important and successful operation. As many of you will know, the UAE has been an active player in the campaign against human trafficking, and firmly believes in the importance of strong national as well as international efforts to combat human trafficking. INTERPOL, and the international cooperation which underpins it, is one of the key ways we – and the international community – will beat these transnational criminal threats."
She aslo said, "We were the first country in the region to enact a comprehensive anti-human trafficking law in 2006. In order to ensure coordination and better response, the National Committee for Combatting Human Trafficking was established all the way back in 2007 to coordinate efforts and enforce plans to combat human trafficking at various levels across the country. The UAE currently maintains a network of shelters to protect and rehabilitate victims. We also have a dedicated hotline to facilitate the reporting of cases of human trafficking and to enable victims to request protection. ""However, given the transnational nature of human trafficking, no country can combat human trafficking by itself. It is critical that there is cross-border cooperation. This is where the INTERPOL plays a critical role. It facilitates the sharing of information and operational collaboration between member countries. INTERPOL also assists member countries in developing long-term capabilities through trainings, events and access to resources."
She concluded by saying " We applaud the efforts of our colleagues in INTERPOL for leading this important operation. It demonstrates the valuable role that they can play in responding to the major security threats we collectively face. The UAE looks forward to continuing, and deepening, its already extensive cooperation with, and participation in, INTERPOL in the years to come. Here’s to many more successful operations like Operational Liberterra".
The Interpol led operation, with participating countries, aimed to identify and curb criminal organizations in human trafficking and illegal immigration. It also helped victims, immigrants and those who are at risk. The operation provided support to participating countries to advance in open investigations in their countries. It also provided support and enforced the role of networks, as well as the participation of and coordination with the countries of origin, transit and destination. Moreover, it fosters the responsiveness of security agencies, and helps ensure the optimal use of Interpol police capabilities.
Partnerships This joint operation was supported by a number of partners the International Organisation for Migration, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and Europol. The operation was carried out under the auspices of Project Flyway, funded by Norway, ROCK (Regional operational Centre in support of the Khartoum Process and African Union-Horn of Africa Initiative), and the INTERPOL Foundation for a Safer World.