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June 25, 2022
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Europol: Romanian five year olds- forced to beg and steal in the UK

Romanian child traffickers can win over GBP 14 M per year, from putting juvenile gangs to steal and beg in the UK, according to an estimate, taken by journalists at the Daily Express, referring to a network that would operate around 100 children in the UK.


Calculations were made by Europol, which is investigating the case of hundreds of Romanian children trafficked in the UK. The youngsters are forced to beg in public, pick pockets, shoplift and commit burglaries and robberies, Europol has found, quoted by Romania Libera.


Some of the children, who can earn crime gangs up to GBP 130,000-a-year each, are sexually abused or tortured into compliance. Others are “rented out” to other groups, sometimes with the knowledge of their parents, who are mostly based in Romania. Europol, which co-ordinates intelligence across EU police forces, has found many victims too scared to talk to police when they are arrested. In some cases, gang masters had told them that any social workers who took them into care would sell their organs. The level of sophistication associated with these groups is increasing as many are now investing in more permanent operating bases across the EU. The groups cooperate with brokers in key source regions, particularly South East Europe, to ensure a constant supply of children and, to reduce the risk of law enforcement detection, , Europol explains.


The report added: “The severity of violence and intimidation used by these criminal groups to control and exploit the minors includes extreme forms of violence, such as sexual abuse and torture.”


Europol found: “The trafficking and exploitation of these children is a lucrative business, with the children being routinely sold between different criminal gangs and the ‘price’ based on the child’s money-earning potential.” Figures reveal that 128 people have been arrested in England and Wales by the task force, which rescued 28 children in October last year.


Europol, together with Scotland Yard and Romanian police forces have recently associated in a fight against child trafficking. One of the best known criminal groups, responsible for selling or “lending” over 160 children to organized crime groups in Britain was uncovered in Tandarei, Ialomita.


In April 2010 the group was annihilated and 27 people were charged with minors’ trafficking and money laundering.

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