UN official thanks Turkish police for successful raid against human traffickers
ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
Hürriyet photoA top United Nations official has thanked Turkish police for a recent successful operation against human traffickers in a letter addressed to the Hürriyet Daily News.
“Let me congratulate the Turkish law enforcement agency and their foreign counterparts for their efforts,” Yury Fedotov, executive director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, wrote in the letter. “I see these arrests as another sign of the government’s commitment to ending this form of transnational crime.”
On Jan. 29, Istanbul police dismantled an international human-trafficking ring in a joint operation with six EU countries. In simultaneous early morning raids organized in Istanbul, Antalya and Balıkesir, 35 suspects were taken into custody while 20 people being held hostage by the organization were rescued.
Similar raids targeting the same ring were conducted simultaneously in Germany, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Italy and Spain. According to reports, the police corps had been preparing the operation for seven months.
“While the breaking up of a smuggling ring and the arrest of numerous smugglers is an excellent step in the right direction, there is still much work to do,” Fedotov said.
“Migrant smuggling flows are reported crossing all continents and every region yet responses are all too frequently limited in number and nature, including with regard to those who are the focus of smugglers’ activities.
“Confronting transnational organized crime is about taking action, building cooperation, encouraging coordination and being willing to share information across borders and regions. All actions against migrant smuggling should also protect the rights of the smuggled person, including the need to offer support to smuggled migrants.”
Fedotov wrote more joint operations across borders should be done and the ring leaders, their networks and their money supplies should be targeted.
“I hope there will be many more such operational successes. We need to continue delivering a comprehensive response to this issue. If we do not, the work of the international community will remain very much a work in progress,” Fedotov said.