Organised Immigration Crime:
Organised immigration crime covers both people smuggling of migrants across borders illegally, and the human trafficking of people for criminal exploitation.
People smugglers are often used by migrants looking for a better quality of life in another country. For a financial gain people smugglers will organise a way for migrants to travel and gain illegal entry into their chosen destination. This can often be an inhuman journey and may even take months or years to achieve, although when the migrant arrives at their destination they are free to carry on with there life without any repercussions from the people smugglers.
However human trafficking victims are usually obtained and transported by traffickers with the aim of exploitation. The traffickers use fraud and deception to persuade their victims that coming with them will lead to a better life, human trafficking can also be involuntary through physical force, abduction and violence. Victims who are trafficked are often used for sexual exploitation and forced cheap labour, and will be controlled over all aspects of their life this will include their freedom of movement, where and when they will work and what pay, if any, they will receive.
In addition to the harm experienced by the victims of Organised Immigration Crime, there are also associated problems that are felt across society. This could include economic harm such as benefit fraud, non-payment of tax or abuse of the welfare system. It can also be social where the effects of criminality are felt within communities that have large residents of illegal immigrants.
There are many types of fraud, most small scale frauds like false insurance claims, benefit fraud, forgery and marriage fraud are often committed by individuals or small groups. For example marriage fraud is a form of immigration fraud; it is committed by a couple marrying primarily to gain legal status as an immigrant in there chosen country. This is frequently arranged as a business transaction.
However larger more complex frauds such as excise fraud, investment fraud and identity fraud require a criminal infrastructure in order to work effectively, therefore are usually committed by serious and organised criminals, and as a result they have resources both in terms of manpower and finances that far outweigh those of the average criminal.
For example identity fraud involves the use of a stolen identity in criminal activities, to obtain goods or services by deception. This usually involves the use of stolen or forged identity documents such as a passport or driving licences to obtain various financial benefits such as bank accounts, credit cards, loans and mortgages, to which the criminals have no intention of repaying. The money obtained from identity fraud is then used by criminal organisations to finance bigger crimes such as human trafficking, illegal immigration, drug running, terrorism and money-laundering.
Fraud can cause significant personal difficulties such as debt and bankruptcy and also emotional distress. It can also be particularly devastating for “vulnerable” victims such as the elderly, the socially isolated, and the disabled. It is amongst these groups that the emotional and financial impact can be the greatest.
The impact of fraud can be equally great for corporate victims, particularly small to medium sized businesses which may be unable to recover from the financial and/or reputational damage caused.
One of the wider consequences of fraud is that it can undermine public confidence in legitimate businesses or industry sectors, particularly those that sell products or services known to be targeted by fraudsters, such as timeshare properties, lotteries, and internet shopping websites.
Fraud can also have a knock-on...