Trafficking Mafias Stalk Ukrainian Women And Children At The Border

4 months ago 265

The mafias have women and children fleeing the war in Ukraine in their sights, and the Polish authorities confirm to Efe the detection of cases of criminals wandering around the Warsaw and Przemysl stations (near the border), which forced them to define protocols and extreme vigilance. Since the war in Ukraine began, the Polish authorities have detected the presence in different stations of criminals who take advantage of the vulnerable situation of the refugees in search of victims and with intentions nothing comparable to those of the majority of Poles and the hundreds of volunteers dedicated to helping those fleeing the conflict.


The mayor of the Polish capital, Rafal Trzaskowski, stresses to Efe that "99% of the people in Warsaw have good intentions", but admitted that he is working with NGOs that fight against human trafficking, trafficking in women, and other types of abuses by criminal groups that see business in the wave of Ukrainian refugees in Poland. Warsaw gained 15% more population since the end of February because more than 200,000 refugees have decided to stay in Warsaw until the war ends.


“We try to distribute information to women to tell them to be careful. They do not accept any help if they go alone. They always should travel in a group, They should ask for the information of people who offer them help if they are not people around the city, the government, or the NGOs that are registered with us. We have to be vigilant," warns Trzaskowski.


About 6,000 Ukrainian refugees arrive at the Warsaw East Station, but the figure reached 12,000 a day at the peak of the wave, and the process is the same for everyone: get off the train, receive food and basic products, rest, and put heading to the final destination, which may be in another country, or in a host accommodation of neighbors registered in a database designed to offer to the house to refugees.


The coordinator of the reception point of this station, Katarzyna Niwinska, points out that "there have already been cases in which people have tried to abuse the situation", and as an example, she pointed out that of a young woman who received an offer of help for part of a man who demanded that he "send a photograph of her body before going to pick her up" at the station. At the station, around 1000+ volunteers are on the lookout to prevent any possible abusive actions.


About six hours from the capital, on the border with Ukraine, the police have also detected the presence of criminals ready to abuse the most vulnerable.


Mayor of Przemysl, Wojciech Bakun said where the first railway station of the city is located after crossing the border with Ukrainian border, explains to Efe that "from the first day they have tried to be very careful with this type of situation when someone picks up a person" in the station. about half a million people already passed through Przemysl, especially women, children, and elder people.


Driver Registration

The region has made a system that works in the whole province, whereby all the drivers must be registered with a license and a car number plate as well, and with a destination formerly agreed with the government authorities, before picking up a refugee from Ukraine.


“That way we know which driver each refugee is going with and where they are going. With this strong system, no one can leave these collection points without special permission of the police that they are a registered refugee and driver,” Bakun underlines. Furthermore, the system “developed within three days” also allows refugees to confirm their upcoming safe arrival at their allotted destination in an application.


This is a great example of the efforts of authorities focused on preventing refugees from being abused or kidnapped by mafias, but it is the regional police officials and the Polish military police that are focused on detecting addictive criminals who are searching the train stations for potential victims. "They monitor the suspect, check the identity document, ask questions, and keep an eye out to avoid these situations," says Bakun.


In this weird situation, the Europol agency addressed that "conflicts create opportunities for organized crime to finally prosper and amplify the threat that addictive criminal groups can impact internal security."


The European Commission also warned of the risk that women and children arriving from Ukraine could fall into the hands of human trafficking networks and warned in particular of the situation of orphans, who are "extremely vulnerable" and of groups that take advantage of this type of crisis to exploit people sexually or at work.