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European Resource Center

Marin couple ordered to stand trial in runaway pimping case

A Marin County couple accused of taking in an 18-year-old runaway and forcing her into prostitution were ordered to stand trial on human trafficking charges.

Shawn Buckley, 21, of Novato, and girlfriend Jazmin Moniq Khayami, 21, of San Anselmo, were also ordered to stand trial on pimping and pandering charges.

Judge Andrew Sweet made the ruling Thursday after a preliminary examination of the evidence. He said the evidence appears to show that Buckley and Khayami took in a runaway with mental health issues who had gone off her medications, then made her work as a prostitute at all hours, including on her birthday.

Sweet also ruled there was sufficient evidence to try Khayami with criminal threats against the alleged victim. He dismissed the same charge against Buckley.

The defendants return to court Sept. 10 for further proceedings. Buckley remains in custody in the pimping case and for alleged probation violations. Khayami is free on bail.

The investigation began in December when the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children sent a tip to a human trafficking task force in Marin. The task force consists of investigators with the San Rafael Police Department, the Marin County sheriff’s and probation departments and the FBI.

The information was that a minor was offering sex through a website for escorts, police said. Investigators arranged a sting to meet the suspected prostitute at a motel.

Investigators met her and determined that she was a young adult who was being trafficked by two other suspects. Further investigation led police to identify Buckley and Khayami as the suspects.

The defendants allegedly took all the victim’s money and gave her only what was necessary — including food, clothing and methamphetamine — to keep her working for sex clients.

Defense attorneys for Buckley and Khayami said the alleged victim’s testimony was not credible and that she told police what they wanted to hear to avoid getting arrested herself.


Police Discover Human Trafficking Ring

6 arrested for forcing two 18-year-olds to perform sexual acts for money

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - It started out as an arrest for prostitution. The Sioux Falls Police Department Street Crimes Unit spotted an advertisement online that appeared linked to prostitution.

Officers began to talk to the two young women and discovered that they were being forced into human trafficking.

It was then that police were led to 730 N. Terrace Place. On Aug. 17th detectives from the ‘Crimes Against Persons Section’ along with personnel from the Crime Lab, joined the investigation.

Police arrested, 25-year-old Jerrid Lee Morris, and 32-year-old Duwana Annette Smiley for 1st Degree Human Trafficking and Maintaining a Place Where Drugs are Kept or Sold.

Four others, 28-year-old Ycenia Dolores Brown, 24-year-old Shaves Lee Brown, 23-year-old Joshua Stevens and 23-year-old Tatiana Williams, were also arrested on drug charges.  

A neighbor of the residence, who wished to stay anonymous, couldn’t believe this happened in her neighborhood.

“It was, it was a shock,” she said.

Police also discovered cocaine, marijuana and a plastic bag with Methamphetamine residue in the home. But for the neighbor, she never saw anything that looked suspicious.

“That was what was kind of mysterious, because it didn't seem like there was people coming in and out,” she says.

Lieutenant David McIntire with the Sioux Falls Police, says that crimes as extreme as this, are often committed by career criminals.

"In general, when you do find a trafficker, this is not a new criminal this is someone who's generally in a lifetime criminal,” said Lt. McIntire.

And for these 6 that was certainly the case.

Each suspect had lengthy criminal records both in and out of South Dakota; including robbery, forgery and assault.

"It was very out of the ordinary, we have a really wonderful, nice, quiet, friendly neighborhood,” said the neighbor.

Lt. McIntire believes that crimes like these are stopped with the help of the community.

"There is more awareness of the situation with human trafficking we have more people bringing us information as well,” he said.

All suspects are expected back in court in about two weeks.


British court convicts Roma from Slovakia of human trafficking

THREE members of a Roma gang from Slovakia were found guilty of human trafficking in the UK, The Daily Express informed, adding that the verdict is expected on Friday, August 21.

The gang boss was Tibor Suchý who was put behind bars for ten years in December  2013. Roman Žiga, his brother Jozef, and Igor Boroš denied any participation in the lucrative business. However, judge Michael Topolski found them all guilty of human trafficking and promised long sentences.  

The gang lured young Roma from Slovakia to Great Britain, hoping to sell them as brides. They promised the women a better life, but in fact offered them for sale to people who are not citizens of any of the European-Union member states.

In early 2013, the gang brought at least four women form Slovakia to the UK and offered them to men, mostly from India and Pakistan. Tibor Suchý kept those women in the town of Gravesend until he found bridegrooms for them. Suchý, his wife Viktória Sanová and his brother-in-law René all entered guilty pleas before the trial started.

One of the victims was promised packages of fruit by the gang, but after arriving in Britain, was forced into prostitution and then sold to an Indian for 3000 pounds (€4,256). One of the women managed to flee, but the British police did not help her, and thus she was forced to turn to the Slovak police for assistance. The local police did not report her testimony to the specialist police team, prosecutor Riel Karmy-Jones informed media.

The lucrative business was revealed after one Pakistani man raped his newly-wed wife so brutally that she almost bled to death and had to be hospitalised, the TASR newswire wrote on August 19.


There’s A Scary Connection Between Model Scouting And Human Trafficking

Model scouts travel the world chatting up beautiful young people as potential clients, letting them know about all the fabulous career opportunities the fashion industry could offer if they’d just pack up and head to New York, Paris or Milan. Not every wannabe model makes it, of course (not everyone’s a Cara Delevingne) but even a small shot at that kind of opportunity is enough for many young people to take the risk.

CEO of Ford Models, Katie Ford, was admittedly freaked out when she first realized that this scouting process was so strikingly similar to the M.O. of human traffickers — the people responsible for forcing almost 27 million people (mostly women under 18) to work as indentured servants, laborers or even sex slaves across the world. Again, the promise of a better life with way more opportunity lures the young, vulnerable and disenfranchised into a world they are not at all prepared for.


Read more: There’s A Scary Connection Between Model Scouting And Human Trafficking

Human trafficking gang sold women to immigrants desperate for a British visa

A COUPLE who trafficked vulnerable women into Britain and married them off to men desperate for a visa were jailed for a total of 16 years today.

The pair lured two Lithuanians to the UK with the promise of well-paid work, but instead forced them into tying the knot with a complete stranger.

They also exploited a third woman who had previously been trafficked into the Britain by another gang, forcing her into prostitution in London.

There may have been many more victims of the couple after text messages revealed them boasting of selling women for £2,500 each.

Read more: Human trafficking gang sold women to immigrants desperate for a British visa

7 ways to spot that someone is being trafficked

Warning signs:

1 -- A traveler is not dressed appropriately for their route of travel.

You might notice right away that a traveler has few or no personal items. Victims may be less well dressed than their companions. They may be wearing clothes that are the wrong size, or are not appropriate for the weather on their route of travel.

2 -- They have a tattoo with a bar code, the word "Daddy."

Many people have tattoos, so a tattoo in itself is obviously not an indicator, but traffickers or pimps feel they own their victims and a barcode tattoo, or a tattoo with "Daddy" or even a man's name could be a red flag that the person is a victim.

3 -- They can't provide details of their departure location, destination, or flight information.

Traffickers employ a number of tools to avoid raising suspicion about their crime and to keep victims enslaved. Some traffickers won't tell their victims where they are located, being taken, or even what job they will have.

Because victims don't have the means to get home or pay for things like food, they must rely on traffickers in order to get by, forcing them to stay in their situation.

4 -- Their communication seems scripted, or there are inconsistencies with their story

Sometimes traffickers will coach their victims to say certain things in public to avoid suspicion. A traveler whose story seems inconsistent or too scripted might be trying to hide the real reason for their travel and merely reciting what a trafficker has told them to say.

5 - They can't move freely in an airport or on a plane, or they are being controlled, closely watched or followed.

People being trafficked into slavery are sometimes guarded in transit. A trafficker will try to ensure that the victim does not escape, or reach out to authorities for help.

6 - They are afraid to discuss themselves around others, deferring any attempts at conversation to someone who appears to be controlling them.

Fear and intimidation are two of the tools that traffickers use to control people in slavery. Traffickers often prevent victims from interacting with the public because the victim might say something that raises suspicions about their safety and freedom.

7 - Child trafficking

A child being trafficked for sexual exploitation may be dressed in a sexualized manner, or seem to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

A child may appear to be malnourished and/or shows signs of physical or sexual abuse, such as bruises, scars, or cigarette burns.


Woman charged over human trafficking in Belfast

A woman has been charged in connection with the trafficking of five people in Belfast last month.

The 38-year-old was arrested on Friday morning and has been changed with three human trafficking offences.

She is also charged with three counts of acting as an unlicensed gangmaster and one of money laundering by acquiring criminal property.

She is due to appear at Belfast Magistrates' Court on 3 September.

Zoltan Raffael, 39, was remanded in custody last week for the same investigation.



ADDIS ABABA, Aug 5 (NNN-ENA) -- The Ethiopian Federal Police Commission says it has detained seven suspected human traffickers who were engaged in illicit human trafficking activities from abroad.

The suspects were extradited from Kenya, Sudan and Tanzania over the past three months in collaboration with the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol), says the head of the Illegal Human Trafficking Crime Investigation Division with the Federal Police Commission, Deputy Commander Wondimu Chama.

The seven suspects have allegedly been trafficking Ethiopian citizens illegally by creating a network with traffickers inside the country. A total of 17 traffickers residing in Ethiopia were accordingly detained and brought to justice, he added.


RI State Police Arrest 8 for Sex Trafficking, Solicitation of a Minor

Eight Rhode Island residents have been arrested for crimes allegedly exploiting children, as announced by the Rhode Island State Police Computer Crimes Unit and Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force on Thursday.  

See the Arrest List BELOW

On March 23,  the Rhode Island State Police Computer Crimes Unit / ICAC Task Force received a CyberTip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) regarding a possible sexual assault of a 14 year old juvenile female. The Rhode Island State Police, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Franklin Township (New Jersey) Police Department worked to located the victim in New Jersey on April 6. At the time the victim was located, Paul Monteiro, age 30, was arrested by HSI and charged federally with human trafficking. The prosecution of this arrest is being handled by the Providence office of the United States Attorney.

Read more: RI State Police Arrest 8 for Sex Trafficking, Solicitation of a Minor

2015 TIP report to be released next Monday

WASHINGTON, 22 July 2015 (NNT) – The U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby has revealed that the U.S. government is to release the 2015 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report next Monday, July 27, at 10 a.m. local time or at 9 p.m. Thai time.

The U.S. Secretary of State is expected to announce the report by himself as in the previous years. The TIP report places each country onto one of four tiers based on the extent of their governments’ efforts to comply with the “minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking”.

Tier 1 is the highest ranking, followed by Tier 2, Tier 2 with close monitoring, and Tier 3 in which Thailand has been ranked in the previous year. Basically, country ranked in Tier 3 will be reassessed within three months whether or not the U.S. government will impose any pressure or sanction measures on it. However, the U.S. government decided not to place any sanction measures on Thailand last year.



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