Between March and August 2017, law enforcement and immigration agencies from ten countries – Australia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Maldives, New Zealand, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and the USA – carried out nine joint operations aimed at dismantling people smuggling and trafficking in persons networks in the Asia-Pacific region. Criminal networks involved in the online commercial sexual exploitation of children were also targeted.
The 3rd Joint Period of Action contributed to 72 persons being convicted of human trafficking and people smuggling offences, including notorious people smuggler Abraham Louhenapessy, better known as Captain Bram. Sixty-two people were also convicted in Thailand’s largest human trafficking trial, which arose from the May 2015 discovery of mass graves along the Thailand-Malaysia border. The investigation was first included under the 1st Joint Period of Action, and the continued cooperation between Thai and Malaysian Police authorities over subsequent periods of action significantly contributed to the results achieved.
Authorities in the ten countries also;
- rescued six trafficked victims
- executed five search warrants and identified 23 new suspects
- made 10 arrests and launched nine new investigations
- made two extradition requests
- made numerous bilateral and international enquiries to progress trafficking in persons and people smuggling investigations
- conducted awareness-raising activities and carried out targeted training for over 50 police, airport, immigration, and compliance officers across the region
- gathered useful intelligence on the traffickers and smugglers involved and their modus operandi.