As a result of joint operational activities carried last week, the British Police Scotland and Romanian National Police and D.I.I.C.O.T, supported by Europol and Eurojust, have dismantled a Romanian organised criminal network involved in trafficking of Romanian victims, exploited in the sex market in Scotland.
Supported on-the-spot by Europol experts, the operation was preceded by extensive and complex investigations coordinated by Europol and Eurojust.
A joint day of action by Police Scotland on 8 April 2016 resulted in 4 house searches, the arrest of one suspect and the referral to the prosecutor's office of a number of others suspects and the safeguarding of 8 potential victims of trafficking. During this action day, cash, mobile phones and other valuable items were also seized from the suspects.
This operation is the result of a large-scale investigation, ran by the United Kingdom and Romanian law enforcement authorities, to dismantle an organised crime group actively involved in trafficking in human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation.
Europol actively supported this human trafficking operation and provided operational analytical support throughout the investigation to the countries involved. This included facilitating information exchange and analysis, organising operational meetings at Europol and delivering real-time cross-checks of all data gathered in the course of the field action through the deployment of Europol's mobile office, and two Europol analysts in the United Kingdom to extract and analyse phone data.
At the same time Romanian authorities provided mutual assistance by deploying police officers and a prosecutor to the United Kingdom during the action day.
Europol and Eurojust facilitated police and judicial cooperation in the framework of a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) which brought together authorities from UK and Romania.