Nigerian Gangs Use UK Airports for Trafficking – Spanish Police
Nigerian trafficking gangs seeking alternatives to perilous Mediterranean Sea crossings are now using British airports such as Gatwick as entry points to the European Union, Spanish police said on Thursday, The Nation reports.
The BBC quoted a crime squad officer in Barcelona as saying his team had smashed a notorious Nigerian crime organisation running a network of trafficked prostitutes across the city.
But the gang, known as the Supreme Eiye Confraternity (SEC), is also “using forged documents and passports to fly its Nigerian victims into places like Gatwick,” Xavier Cortes, head of anti-trafficking at Catalonia police, told the BBC.
“Eiye” (bird) is a Yoruba word, the main language of southwestern Nigeria where the group originates, the BBC reports.
The Home Office, which oversees immigration controls at United Kingdom airports, did not respond to the remarks.
A record one million migrants arrived in the European Union last year, many reliant on criminal gangs to smuggle them out of conflict-ridden countries like Syria and Afghanistan as well as many African countries, Reuters reported.
The surge in arrivals has heaped pressure on European police and authorities to break a network of organised crime spanning the continent.
The number of people identified as potential victims of human trafficking in Britain rose by 21 percent to 3,309 in 2014, the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) said last year.
The nationality of the victims was known in only 2,100 cases of which nearly nine percent were Nigerian, the agency’s data showed.
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