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Human Trafficking

Volume 465: debated on Thursday 25 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many trafficked women and children have been discovered since the launch of Operation Pentameter 2; and if she will make a statement. (160656)

Figures on the number of trafficking victims recovered will be published at the end of Operation Pentameter 2.

We shall not be releasing any interim figures during the period of this operation whilst we carry out the process of identification of victims. To issue interim figures in these circumstances may be misleading.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measures were taken to ascertain whether the workers arrested in the Immigration Service raids on restaurant businesses in central London on 11 October 2007 were victims of trafficking and forced labour; what (a) counselling and (b) other assistance is available to any such workers who are identified as victims of trafficking and forced labour; and what measures are taken to ensure that any such workers are not placed in a situation where they might be vulnerable to recycling as forced labourers by the trafficking gangs. (160116)

49 migrant workers were arrested on 11 October in central London on suspicion of committing immigration offences. Current operational procedures require all those arrested to be interviewed to establish their identity and their current immigration status. If there is a suspicion of illegal entry then further detailed questions may be asked in relation to their route and method of entry and if they were assisted.

All the individuals arrested were questioned by Border and Immigration Agency officials as to their route of entry to the UK, and given the opportunity to obtain legal representation.

Any evidence or intelligence that leads to facilitators or traffickers will be vigorously pursued. In particular the Border and Immigration Agency is examining the role of the employers in all this to identify whether further offences have been committed.