Afghanistan Crisis: Fears chaos in Afghanistan could spark rise in people trafficking

The crisis in Afghanistan is feared to spark a rise in people trafficking - after a top cop warned of a rise over the past year despite lockdowns.

The head of Police Scotland's National Human Trafficking Unit, detective superintendent Fil Capaldi, said there had been a five per cent increase in human traffkicking on this time last year, although the figures were still to be officially gathered and published.

Speaking to 1919, Scotland's justice and social affairs magazine, he said organised crime gangs were looking to diversify how they brought in cash.

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He said: "If there's any doubt, it happens here.

"It happens right here, right now, and it's happening in communities all over Scotland and we know this.

"We know this categorically.

"For the calendar year 2020, we had 387, but then you've got to take into account that global lockdown, restrictions in global travel, restrictions in ports, and even freight coming in for clandestine entries.

Taliban fighters stand guard by a black market currency exchange at Sarai Shahzada market in Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021. (AP Photo/Wali Sabawoon)

"But year to date, we had a five per cent increase.

"And that's taking into account there's still loads of restrictions in global travel, lots of different countries obviously still using different lockdown procedures.

"So, it's not an issue that's going away.

"And I always say that whenever there's money to be made, particularly by organised crime groups, they'll diversify."

It is feared that the upheaval in Afghanistan will inevitably lead to more cases of modern slavery in the UK.

DS Capaldi said signs of human trafficking included large groups of people sharing small properties, lots of comings and goings at unsocial hours, and people who don't readily have access to documents like bank cards.

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