Human traffickers going online … using job offers to lure victims
… using galmorous job offers to lure victims
Jamaicans are being warned against jumping to explore glamorous opportunities posted on social media as it is one of the most popular methods used by human traffickers to lure their victims.
“People are looking for jobs everywhere, so they [human traffickers] post the vacancies to appeal to the type of people they want. They know people want to go overseas for jobs, so they will post those jobs. If they know there is a group of dancers looking for gigs, they post that as well,” advised Deputy Superintendent of Police Carl Barry, who heads the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Unit.
Just yesterday, three girls were rescued from becoming sex workers in Kingston after they were recruited through opportunities posted on social media. A 16-year-old girl was among them.
Reports are that the police visited a bar in Kingston 11 after receiving reports of exotic dancing and other sexual activities. Police say their investigations revealed that the girls were victims of human trafficking.
prostitution and money laundering
Devon Scott, a 41-year-old farmer of Kingston 10 was subsequently arrested and charged with human trafficking, living on the earnings of prostitution and money laundering. He is to appear in court November 24.
According to Barry, this was not an isolated instance, as some 69 Jamaicans have been rescued from the grips of human trafficking since 2010. He noted that the traffickers have a myriad of strategies to attract and then trap victims.
“Once persons apply to these jobs, they [traffickers] urge them to submit various documents to give the impression that it’s legitimate. They then make arrangements to carry you overseas, and once you reach the border of that foreign country, you are taken over by criminal gunmen and forced to do what they want,” DSP Barry said.
In order to protect one’s self from becoming a victim, Barry said there are certain precautions persons can take.
“We ask persons to make contact with local law enforcement so we can do some checks on these advertisements to find out if they are legitimate. We ask people not to respond to advertisements that sound unreal,” Barry advised. “Be wise, open up your eyes.”