African Human Traffickers Changing Strategies to Avoid Arrest

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Migrants sit on their belongings in the back of a truck as it is driven through a dusty road in the desert town of Agadez, Niger

Routes traditionally used to escort trafficking victims out of Africa have shifted to others in Nigeria, Algeria and Turkey.

Human traffickers in east and north Africa are re-strategizing their business models to avoid detection, a new report from the Research and Evidence Facility (a European Union affiliate) said Friday.

According to the study, routes which traditionally were used to escort trafficking victims out of Africa have shifted to others in Nigeria, Algeria and Turkey.

“Not only have (the smugglers and traffickers) broadened their reach, they have also decriminalized many aspects of their smuggling business model, employing increasingly legal mechanisms to work from West Africa, Turkey and Europe,” the authors wrote in their report.

Researchers said police efforts to link illicit financial transactions to smuggling humans across Africa are still in their early stages. However, the majority of trafficking cases rely “less on clandestine movement, and more on commercial travel.”

Interpol director of organized and emerging crime, Paul Stanfield, said, “Understanding the multifaceted nature of the crime, Interpol recognizes the importance of adopting a multifaceted approach to combat it.”

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