European police arrested 70 people in a large-scale child trafficking operation in several European countries, which identified 53 miners as potential victims, Europol announced on Friday.
The European Criminal Police Cooperation Agency “has supported a pan-European operation against the trafficking of minors for the purposes of sexual exploitation, forced begging and labour exploitation,” Europol said in a statement.
The operation resulted in the arrest of 34 people for “trafficking in human beings” and 36 others for “stealing, spreading sexual exploitation of children and facilitating illegal immigration”.
Police actions carried out in June in 18 European countries resulted in the identification of 206 potential victims, including 53 minors, said Europol.
In addition, more than 127,000 people were investigated along with some 63,800 vehicles and 1,100 locations.
Agents from several countries registered private properties, commercial establishments, hotels, bus and train stations, ferry ports, airports and border crossings on suspicion that they might be involved in child trafficking.
The arrests include 34 people suspected of trafficking in human beings and the other 36 detainees were for crimes such as robbery, dissemination of sexual exploitation of minors and facilitation of illegal immigration. The operation also had experts on issues related to trafficking in persons, in addition to child protection agents , social workers, municipal representatives and NGOs.
Led by the United Kingdom, the operation involved law enforcement agencies from Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Spain. Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden and Switzerland.