Tag Archives: human trafficking

It’s a great day for organized crime

From Canada.com

As the number of RCMP investigators tackling the terrorism threat continues to grow, it is raising concerns that other important federal cases are taking a back seat.

Last October, RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson told a Senate committee that 300 investigators had been pulled from organized crime and financial crime cases to help support 170 members dedicated to RCMP-led Integrated National Security Enforcement Teams across the country.

The number of re-assigned investigators is closer to 500 now, a senior law enforcement source told Postmedia News this week, adding that the number fluctuates daily.

If this trend continues, there is a legitimate concern that organized crime — which takes the form of drug trafficking, human smuggling, identity theft, money laundering and fraud — could “flourish,” Pierre-Yves Bourduas, a retired RCMP deputy commissioner, said Wednesday.

In Bourduas’ opinion, the No. 1 threat remains organized crime and the No. 1 “weapon of mass destruction” is drugs. If these are allowed to go unchecked or are given less attention, “then there might be consequences for Canadian society writ large.”

“It’s a delicate balance,” he said.

The federal government has a decision to make, said Garry Clement, a retired superintendent who was in charge of the RCMP’s proceeds of crime program. Does the RCMP focus on one area? Or does it get additional resources to continue with other parts of its mandate?

For now, he said, “it’s a great day for organized crime.”

Amsterdam’s (failed) quest to tame prostitution

From The Atlantic

Has Amsterdam had enough of its breezy reputation? It may be famous for its in-your-face window prostitution, but the city has just voted to place tighter controls on its brothels. From this summer onwards, Amsterdam’s legal age for prostitution will rise from 18 to 21, and brothels will be forced to remain closed between four and nine in the morning. Prostitutes will have to pass language tests and have shorter shifts, while brothel keepers will be obliged to produce business plans demonstrating how they will protect their workers’ health and safety.

Seen from a country where prostitution is largely banned, these changes might seem laughably modest. They’re carefully targeted nonetheless. Younger women are most likely to fall victim to human traffickers, while those that don’t speak any Dutch or English find it much harder to contact police or social workers in cases of abuse. Meanwhile, early morning closure is planned because the time of day is seen as a problem period, with nobody else about in the streets to monitor or rein in bad behavior. Amsterdam’s city council considers the moves so vital that the city is going it alone, introducing laws that (while currently being debated) haven’t yet passed through the Dutch Parliament.

Amsterdam’s haste is understandable. It may be well policed and eye-poppingly unusual, but the city’s central red light district still feels like a place where women’s hopes go to die. Around 75 percent of the 5,000 to 8,000 prostitutes working in the city are from abroad, and many are believed to have been trafficked. Holland legalized prostitution in 2000 as a way of stopping exploitation, but evidence suggests that more women than ever are being forced into brothels against their will. A study from the London School of Economics published this winter found that in countries where selling sex was decriminalized, human trafficking has increased. While the number of women entering prostitution voluntarily grows under legalization, demand grows yet further, creating a shortfall filled by women trafficked and run by pimps.

I have read several articles that say that it also just raises the bar when it comes to kink.  Instead of going to the red light district, men want the increased thrill of using women outside the red light district.  The red light district solves (or tries to solve) some problems while creating new ones.

Bringing down Canada’s massive human-trafficking ring

Amazing story from the Globe and Mail

One December morning, a 49-year-old Hungarian named Sandor Simon was at a Hamilton welfare office when he became agitated, saying he was terrified of the people he was living with and wanted to escape.

Staff knew an RCMP constable, Lepa Jankovic, was investigating suspicious activity involving Hungarian nationals, so they called her. When she arrived, Mr. Simon was hunched over with his arms in his lap, in a full sweat, his hat curled up in his hand.

Constable Jankovic, 41, drove him back to her office, stopping to buy him a coffee and a pack of cigarettes. He warmed to her quickly.

Through a translator, he told the story: A man in his home country promised a high-paying job in the stucco industry if he would move to Canada. But when he arrived, he was confined to a basement with three other men and, he learned, would be forced to work long hours for no pay.

Constable Jankovic knew she was on to something. She was about to unravel the largest-known human-trafficking ring in Canadian history, exposing a Hungarian crime family that made men work as slaves on construction sites. Despite its size, the entire operation would be busted by just two tenacious RCMP officers, an aggressive Crown attorney, a couple of investigators from other agencies and a non-governmental organization.

Her very life was on the line: At one point, a hit man was hired to kill the investigators on the case.

A pimp business plan

A pimping business planA pimping business plan

According to Youth Radio

The FBI estimates that a mid-level trafficker can make more than $500,000 dollars a year by marketing just four girls.  With so much money being made through trafficking, police say long standing networks of gangs and drug dealers are starting to cross over because they see sex trafficking as an easier game. The potential prison sentences are much lower and the game is less dangerous if you are a pimp or a trafficker.

Youth Radio obtained a hand-written business plan from a pimp. The business plan titled Keep It Pimpin states how the pimp wants to expand his trafficking business locally as well as nationally. He also writes that he wants to discover girls “from all over”–especially girls in jail houses and in small cities.

Alameda County DA Sharmin Bock says the pimp business plan represents a larger pimp mentality. “He said ‘I’m going to take it from the concrete streets to the executive suites.’ And that means ultimately you do want to be in those executive suites,” Bock says. “Ultimately you do want to be doing the big ticket sales of children all over the country. And sadly today there is no better bang for your buck, no better investment on your money, no better return, than selling a child for sex.”

It’s sick to read but it’s why most street level prostitution in the city is run by the gangs, the money is too good to be true.  When I worked nights at work and before the Farmer’s Market was opened, girls took many johns to that area and did their tricks there.  Many of them would come in beaten badly and instead of wanting the police or first aid help, they wanted us to go out and get their $60 back.  I am not sure what $60 gets you (and I never asked but I assume it was sex with a condom, bareback sex apparently costs a lot more) but it was always $60 so I am assuming it was the lowest rate.

Here’s the math at at that rate.

  • $500,000 a year / 4 girls = $125,000
  • $125,000 / 350 nights a year (nights off for illness and recovery from violence) = $358 a night
  • $358 a night / $60 trick = 6 tricks or more a night.

Just think about that number for a moment.  via