An International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) operation against migrant smuggling and human trafficking across the Caribbean and Latin America resulted in the arrest of 268 individuals in 32 countries.
It was the fourth in INTERPOL’s ‘Turquesa’ series of operations.
The November 28 to December 2 activity saw officers conducting controls at trafficking and smuggling hotspots.
An INTERPOL release said that the officers especially focused on transit points such as airports, bus terminals, and border crossings.
According to the release, the initiative detected 9,015 irregular migrants and rescued 128 women and two men from human trafficking.
Most of the trafficked victims were from Colombia and Venezuela.
Highlighting the nature and extent of the problem, INTERPOL said El Salvador authorities arrested several women suspected of trafficking their own children, including a disabled girl, destined for sexual exploitation.
“Human trafficking and migrant smuggling are multi-billion euro criminal industries, bankrolling the world’s most dangerous organized crime groups and violating the fundamental rights of victims in the process,” said INTERPOL Secretary General Jürgen Stock.
“The stories we hear of exploitation on global migrant trails in operations like Turquesa IV are heartbreaking, and law enforcement has a duty to safeguard the victims while bringing the perpetrators to justice,” Stock added.
Headline photo: Multiple law enforcement agencies in Jamaica participate in Turquesa IV.