EUROPEAN BANKS JOIN DRIVE TO COMBAT HUMAN TRAFFICKING USING DATA
Leading financial institutions in Europe have decided to combat human trafficking by using data to detect suspicious transactions that could be linked to criminal activity. Europol, the European Union’s policing agency, is taking the initiative to help financial institutions implement “red flag” indicators that scan their systems and report irregular banking transactions to the police.
This drive to end modern slavery is due to concerns about the increasing multi-billion pound business that is being run by increasingly dangerous gangs. Rob Wainwright, the director of Europol, said, “we see the problems getting much worse in terms of number of victims, illegal money that is being used, and the way in which organized crime groups are using more sophisticated techniques to recruit people, transport and exploit them.”
The European Bankers Alliance, similar to the U.S. Bankers Alliance, hopes to achieve the same goal of detecting more suspicious activity and increasing the number of trafficking transactions reported. “Human trafficking has become a fast-growing crime worth about $150 billion a year, according to the International Labour Organisation, with an estimated 36 million people trapped in sex slavery, forced or bonded labour, or other forms of servitude.”
Wainwright said the free movement of people in Europe makes it harder to spot trafficking, but that access to data shared by financial institutions will help identify and efficiently bring traffickers to justice.
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