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Conspiracy to engage in human trafficking

People trafficking is viewed very dimly by the public and courts. Even if no trafficking has actually taken place. If it can be proved a person was planning to engage in human trafficking they can be charged as if the offence was committed. 

Human trafficking isn’t a far away issue for third world countries and there have been several human trafficking cases involving individuals being trafficked to other parts of the UK as sex workers or to become involved in the supply of controlled drugs.

People trafficking doesn’t always relate Organised Crime Groups (OCG’s) either. Any altruistic truck driver or ferry operator who looks the other way to stowaways while crossing the channel could find themselves being arrested and charged with people trafficking offences.

What is the law in relation to human trafficking?

The Modern Slavery Act 2015 consolidates existing offences relating to human trafficking and slavery and encompasses trafficking for all forms of exploitation. The main offences under the 2015 Act are:

  • Section 1 – Slavery, servitude, forced and compulsory behaviour
  • Section 2 – Arranging or facilitating the travel of another person with a view to exploitation
  • Section 4 – Committing any offence with intent to commit an offence under section 2 of the Act

Persons involved in trafficking and people smuggling can also find themselves being prosecuted for one of the following offences in accordance with the Immigration Act 1971:

  • Section 25 – Assisting unlawful immigration (known as facilitation).
  • Section 25A – Facilitating entry by asylum seekers to the UK for gain.
  • Section 25B – Assisting entry to the UK in breach of deportation or exclusion order.
  • Section 25B (3) – Assisting entry / remaining of excluded person.

What is conspiracy to traffic humans

A conspiracy to traffic may involve the commission of an act by one or more individuals, or the happening of an event, in a place outside England and Wales. This is dealt with in section 1A of the Criminal Law Act 1977 which states that where (a) that act or event would be an offence by the law of that place and (b) it would also be an offence here (but for the fact that it takes place outside the jurisdiction), then a person in England and Wales who becomes a party to the agreement or, being a party, does anything in pursuance of the agreement (even before its formation) can be charged with a conspiracy offence.

This broad definition of people trafficking means that it isn’t just a charge brought against hardened criminals or members of OCG’s. There are many people charged each year under the Modern Slavery Act with offences involving forced labour in the sex industry, the construction industry, agriculture and residential care where it alleged that workers are being exploited.

If you have found yourself accused of conspiracy to engage in people trafficking or forced labour it is vital you seek representation from an experienced criminal defence solicitor who can help you prepare your defence and give you a greater understanding of the legal proceedings. 

To speak to a member of the Burton Copeland team for advice on a conspiracy to engage in human trafficking case you can either call us on 0161 827 9500 , or fill in our contact form and we will get back to you.

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