Chair: Atanas Rusev

Financing of Human Trafficking

Building: D
Room: 01


Author: Rusev Atanas, Center for the Study of Democracy

Anton Kojouharov, Center for the Study of Democracy
Title: Financing and Financial Aspects of Thb
Trafficking of Human Beings (THB) is, like all organised crime activities, profit-driven. It therefore can be best understood and addressed when criminal finances are being placed in the very center of its analysis and investigation. The current paper will present results from a two year study into recent trends and developments in the financing of human trafficking. The results from the FINOCA 2.0 project provide an in-depth understanding of the financial underpinnings of organised human trafficking. The current presentation shall focus on the different financial aspects of this criminal activity – source of capital for initiating and expanding criminal operations, settlement of payments between members of trafficking networks and with external actors, costs and profits of trafficking operations. The presentation shall discuss how these financial aspects vary across different types of trafficking (sexual vs labour exploitation) and depending on the modus operandi of the traffickers. The paper draws on an analysis of over 160 interviews with law enforcement representatives, academics, victims and perpetrators in Bulgaria, Italy, Belgium, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Romania and the United Kingdom.
Keywords: Human trafficking, financing
Author: Janssens Jelle , Faculty of Law and Criminology Ghent University

Sigrid Raets, Ghent University
Title: Internet and Trafficking in Human Beings: New Enablers and Motivators for Market Entry and Financing
Over the past few years, the agenda-topping issue of human trafficking is increasingly bracketed with the use of digital technologies. Though the trafficking-technology nexus is a growing area of public and policy concern, as far as empirical research is concerned, the subject is still a relatively open field. As a result, quite a few unknowns regarding the interaction between technological developments and trafficking in persons remain unresolved. In this context, the present research principally aims to build on the existent body of literature in order to broaden our comprehension of the matter at hand. Based on a literature review and interviews with convicted offenders as well as anti-trafficking practitioners, the study presents an overview of the various ways in which technology can be leveraged both in the perpetration and the counteraction of human trafficking activities. In addition, the question of how technology relates both to the traditional workings and the financial aspects of trafficking operations is considered. That is, a connection is drawn between the use of ICT technologies by human traffickers and our current understanding of the business-side of trafficking in persons.
Keywords: human trafficking, ICT, financing
Author: Terenghi Fiamma, eCrime, University of Trento

Andrea Di Nicola, eCrime, University of Trento
Title: Trafficking in Human Beings in the Eu: Social Organisation and Business Models
Trafficking in human beings is one of the most profitable criminal activity of organised crime groups at the EU level, seconded to drug trafficking. Depending on the socio-economic and cultural factors of both the countries of origin of trafficked victims and the European countries of settlement of OCGs, it is possible to identify different actors, market structures and business models. Drawing on a set of diverse qualitative data gathered during the European project FINOCA 2.0., the paper aims at analysing, from a comparative perspective, the social organisation of criminal entrepreneurs involved in trafficking in human beings with reference to sexual and labour exploitation. In particular, the analysis is focused on: 1. The characteristics and structure of OCGs; 2. Their modi operandi in regard to the organisation of trafficking of victims; 3. Their business models in terms of exploitation of victims and ways in which this criminal activity is organised and managed in the countries of destination.
Keywords: human trafficking, social organisation, business models
Author: Oude Breuil Brenda , Utrecht University

Anne-Jetske Schaap, LLM, Utrecht University
Title: Financial Investigations of Thb: Follow the Money – Challenges & Opportunities
Financial investigation of human trafficking cases underwent huge developments in the Netherlands over the last decade. However, particularly in cases of trafficking for sexual exploitation a lot of money remains invisible. It 'does not leave a paper trail’ because of the hidden nature of this form of trafficking, but also because it is either immediately spent, invested in property in non-transparent and dynamic ways, or invested in the traffickers’ home country after being transported (ever more) in cash, whereby international cooperation in the investigations has its challenges. Notwithstanding these difficulties the Dutch approach offers some unique possibilities. Not only the police but other parties – FIU, banks, municipalities, Inspectorate Social Affairs and Employment – are involved in financial investigations of human trafficking, yielding a rich combination of different kinds of information and methods. Moreover, financial investigations in the Netherlands are directed at the provision of evidence, the confiscation of unlawfully obtained profits and enabling compensation for victims. Financial investigations, thus, are much attuned to calculating profits earned and with a strong focus on the confiscation of assets – not only those of the trafficker, but also of others who might hide the ‘black’ money by putting it on their name. In this contribution we will go into tools financial investigators have at their disposal, and the challenges they still face.
Keywords: human trafficking, financial investigations
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