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Modern Slavery / Human Trafficking


Answer

A 'money mule' is someone who transfers stolen money on behalf of criminals through their own bank account.

Criminals will contact a person, either on the internet (via social media, a fake job advertisement) or in person, and offer to pay them for use of their bank account in order to receive stolen money and transfer it to another account.

The majority of the money being transferred is stolen money and is used to fund further criminal activity such as terrorism and fraud.

Criminals usually target vulnerable people who are in financial difficulties themselves and see being a mule as an opportunity to make money.

Once a person has transferred the money successfully there is a high chance that the criminals will want to repeat the process and may use intimidation if someone does not comply.

It is a criminal offence to let someone use your bank account for this activity and you could face a prison sentence of up to 14 years if caught. You could also have your account closed and find it difficult to access credit.

If someone asks you to use your bank account, report it to your local police force. Please see the link in Related Information for contact details.

Please also see the related topic, County Lines, in Related Information.


Answer

Modern slavery is considered a serious crime in the UK. It can take many forms, including human trafficking, forced labour, servitude, slavery, sexual exploitation and criminal exploitation. The following are examples of modern slavery:

  • Being forced to work and being paid very little, in particular below the minimum wage.
  • Being forced to work long hours doing physical labour.
  • Being controlled through fear, mental abuse and repeated physical violence.
  • Being forced to commit crimes.
  • Being sexually exploited.
  • Being exploited by a partner, relatives or other persons.
  • Being forced to marry without consent.
  • Having a passport taken away from you.
  • Being brought to the UK to work and/or being moved to different parts of the country on a regular basis.

If you know someone who you believe may be a victim of modern slavery, or you feel you may be a victim yourself, you should report the abuse to your local police force.

You can also contact the Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700 or the Salvation Army Modern Slavery Human Trafficking Helpline on 0300 303 8151 for assistance.


Answer

Human trafficking is an element of modern slavery. It is the recruitment, movement or receipt of a person, by deception or coercion, into a situation of exploitation. For example, a person may be told that they can come to the UK to work legally, but then upon arriving in the UK, be forced to work as a domestic servant or labourer, with threats of violence if they refuse.

Although human trafficking often involves an international cross-border element, it is also possible to be a victim of modern slavery within your own country. It is also possible to be a victim even if consent has been given to be moved.

Human trafficking involves the exploitation of people, for example:

  • Sexual exploitation.
  • Forced labour.
  • Domestic servitude.
  • Organ harvesting.
  • Child related crimes such as child sexual exploitation.
  • Forced begging.
  • Organised theft.
  • Forced marriage and illegal adoption.

There are many signs that a person may be a victim of human trafficking, including:

  • Being accompanied by someone who appears controlling
  • Being withdrawn and submissive.
  • Seeming afraid to speak to a person in authority and having an accompanying person speak for them.
  • Giving vague and inconsistent explanations of where they live, their employment or schooling.
  • Having old or serious injuries left untreated and showing signs of general physical neglect.
  • Appearing to be moving location frequently.
  • Struggling to speak English.
  • Having no official means of identification or suspicious looking documents.

In relation to children, additional signs may include:

  • Having an unclear relationship with an accompanying adult.
  • Going missing quickly and repeatedly from school, home and care.
  • Giving inconsistent information about their age.

If you know someone who you believe may be a victim of modern slavery or human trafficking, or you feel you may be a victim yourself, you should report the abuse to your local police force.

You can also contact the Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700 or the Salvation Army Modern Slavery Human Trafficking Helpline on 0300 303 8151 for assistance.


Answer

If you have been made to commit an offence as a direct consequence of your situation (i.e. due to slavery or exploitation), there is a strong presumption that you will not be prosecuted and you will be provided with support and referred to the appropriate agencies for help.

If you know someone who you believe may be a victim of modern slavery, or you feel you may be a victim yourself, you should report the abuse to your local police force.

You can also contact the Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700 or the Salvation Army Modern Slavery Human Trafficking Helpline on 0300 303 8151 for assistance.

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