The National Police of Ukraine and border guards, together with their counterparts from Poland and Lithuania have put an end to the activities of trafficking channel for sending Ukrainian citizens to the UK, where they were exploited in inhuman conditions.
“Criminals, using vulnerable condition of our fellow citizens, the lack of normal employment and wages, recruited Ukrainian citizens promising them legal employment in the UK and illegally transferred them from the EU countries to Great Britain, where they were involved in labor exploitation, received a small salary and lived in improper conditions,” an employee of the National Police’s department for Combating Human Trafficking, Andriy Homeniuk, said.
He said that all potential victims received legal Polish work visas and legally crossed the border with that country, and from Poland the criminals sent them to Lithuania. In Lithuania they were given legal documents belonging to similar looking people and were sent to the UK. If the required document could not be found, then Ukrainians were transported hidden in caches in trucks. Other criminals in the UK found housing for Ukrainians and sought jobs for them, Homeniuk said.
In addition, during the recruitment they were told the transfer to the UK costs GBP 4,200 – GBP 4,700, and they will have to work this money off. Criminals used physical force to the victims and threatened to apply it to their relatives and friends. Most of the recruitment took place in the west of Ukraine – in Ivano-Frankivsk and Ternopil regions.
The Ukrainian side collected enough evidence and promptly sent it to Lithuania, and on August 8, Lithuanian border guards detained the human traffickers. Under Ukrainian law, they face from 7 to 12 years of imprisonment.